Production error 503 on renewal attempts

After several years of flawless operation I can no longer renew certificates
Using Nethserver with letsencrypt.
error log:

2023-03-02 08:48:14,724:DEBUG:urllib3.connectionpool:"POST /acme/new-acct HTTP/1.1" 503 90
2023-03-02 08:48:14,725:DEBUG:acme.client:Received response:
HTTP 503
content-length: 90
server: nginx
retry-after: 14
connection: keep-alive
cache-control: private
date: Thu, 02 Mar 2023 16:48:14 GMT
content-type: application/problem+json

{"type": "urn:ietf:params:acme:error:rateLimited", "detail": "Service busy; retry later."}
2023-03-02 08:48:14,726:DEBUG:certbot._internal.log:Exiting abnormally:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/certbot", line 9, in <module>
    load_entry_point('certbot==1.11.0', 'console_scripts', 'certbot')()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/", line 15, in main
    return internal_main.main(cli_args)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 1421, in main
    return config.func(config, plugins)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 1277, in certonly
    le_client = _init_le_client(config, auth, installer)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 652, in _init_le_client
    acc, acme = _determine_account(config)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 570, in _determine_account
    config, account_storage, tos_cb=_tos_cb)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 175, in register
    regr = perform_registration(acme, config, tos_cb)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certbot/_internal/", line 217, in perform_registration
    return acme.new_account_and_tos(newreg, tos_cb)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 861, in new_account_and_tos
    return self.client.new_account(regr)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 603, in new_account
    response = self._post(['newAccount'], new_account)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 97, in _post
    return*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 1201, in post
    return self._post_once(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 1214, in _post_once
    response = self._check_response(response, content_type=content_type)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/acme/", line 1072, in _check_response
    raise messages.Error.from_json(jobj)
Error: urn:ietf:params:acme:error:rateLimited :: There were too many requests of a given type :: Service busy; retry later.
2023-03-02 08:48:14,730:ERROR:certbot._internal.log:An unexpected error occurred:
2023-03-02 08:48:14,731:ERROR:certbot._internal.log:There were too many requests of a given type :: Service busy; retry later.
[root@sparky ~]#

Service status shows degradation on the staging environment but it's been doing this for a while on production.. I have 6 days left in my certificates.

Are you sure? Production should be unaffected. Please post the entire log file.


I can confirm that production is working fine for me.

I got this error using --dry run on the cerbot renew command, however, as you mentioned it went away on production, i.e. certbot renew without --dry-run (which obviously uses the staging environment).

1 Like

OK this is really strange.. the web interface of Nethserver shows errors and references the letsencrypt logfile which I copied part of.. I took a closer look and it actually is the staging environment throwing that error. I manually renewed using the cli and it worked fine. I guess nethserver web interface attempts the staging environment first to prevent errors on the production side..

My apologies for not reading more of the logs!!