Obtaining my "public key"

My domains are newsplexer.com (plus a few aliases) and flannerysporch.com, hosted on a shared GoDaddy server (GoDaddy of course not being overly friendly with Lets Encrypt!).

For the past couple of years I have used ZeroSSL as the interface to LetsEncrypt to generate my tri-monthly certificate and then uploaded it to GoDaddy via cPanel (since GoDaddy does not directly support LE). It’s worked fine.

ZeroSSL now, though, requires a paid account to generate a certificate covering all my more-than-3 domains. The nice Wizard is gone. So I plan to switch to GetHTTPSForFree as my interface to LE.

On GetHTTPForFree, I am first asked to input the email address and public key used for LE. I don’t have the public key as far as I know. From my repeated interactions via ZeroSSL, I have my LE-account-key (which curiously starts with a header saying BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY), my private key (which also starts with a BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY header), my CSR certificate request (which automatically incorporates all my domains), and of course my final domains certificate updated each 90 days.

I thought perhaps the LE account key was the public key. But GetHTTPSForFree gives me an error when I paste that in, even when I change the header to “BEGIN PUBLIC KEY” as it seems to expect. I don’t have and don’t recall ever seeing a file with a BEGIN PUBLIC KEY header.

But, hey, it’s supposed to be public, right? So I figure there is some way to find it.

I have spent some time searching through the archives here (and elsewhere online) for an answer. No luck so far.

Little help?


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If you don’t have your account private key from the old ZeroSSL anymore, then just make a new one. It’s no big deal.

If you do have the account private key from the old ZeroSSL, you can reuse it. In order to get the public key from the private key:

openssl rsa -in account.key -pubout

The “(How do I generate this?)” link in gethttpsforfree step 1 documents this, as well as how to make a new account key.


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