Newbie-friendly instructions for updating certbot?


So I got the e-mail with this subject: “Action required: Let’s Encrypt certificate renewals” .

After jumping through a few links I found what looks like the essential info:

“All most users need to do is make sure your Certbot installation is up-to-date and test and configure automatic renewal for the updated version of Certbot. You can find instructions for how to do this at You need Certbot version 0.28.0 or newer. You can check which version you have installed by running Certbot with the --version flag.”

…except the link just takes me to the certbot front page. Certbot --version gives me 0.10.2, and apt-get update&upgrade doesn’t update certbot.

I’m using Debian 9. I’m a Linux newbie, so I’m confused at this point. I don’t want to spend many hours learning Linux and Cerbot just to keep using the https I already had working just fine. Installing certbot was delightfully easy and straightforward, but now the update suddenly seems all confusing and mysterious. Is there a newbie-friendly solution?


It should also present you two pull down menus to select your OS and webserver. After you have chosen both, it should redirect you to the right instructions.


Thanks for the reply! Apparently I just didn’t understand that installing and updating instructions are the same.

In case any other newbies with Apache + Debian 9.0 want to save time, here’s how to update certbot:

  1. add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list stretch-backports main

  2. apt-get update

  3. apt-get install python-certbot-apache -t stretch-backports


As you’ve figured out, in the case of Debian, it’s important to use the Stretch backports repo. So if you didn’t use that before, you’d need more commands than just using apt to update everything.


No it doesn’t. “The right instructions” says to read through full installation instructions, while “apt-get update” fails to update certbot. Letsencrypt should send out a new email, after ensuring that it uses clear language intended for humans who do not know every detail of Certbot. Also, even the full installation instruction does not upgrade certbot past v0.26 (Ubuntu 14, Apache).

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