Rate limits hit, no way around it, no idea when/how rate limits will go away

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My domain is: charlesreid1.com

I ran this command: + ./certbot-auto certonly --server https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/directory --manual --preferred-challenges dns -d '*.charlesreid1.com'

It produced this output: There were too many requests of a given type :: Error finalizing order :: too many certificates already issued for: charlesreid1.com: see Rate Limits - Let's Encrypt

My web server is (include version): nginx 1.15.1

The operating system my web server runs on is (include version): Ubuntu 16.04

My hosting provider, if applicable, is: namecheap

I can login to a root shell on my machine (yes or no, or I don't know): yes

I'm using a control panel to manage my site (no, or provide the name and version of the control panel): no

I created certificates for several subdomains individually three months ago, and those were working fine but were set to expire. I tried to renew, and several of the renewal commands failed while several others succeeded (the certbot utility is extremely frustrating to get working, because of contradictory and confusing documentation). Thus a few of the certs were working but a few were out of date.

I could not get all of my subdomain certificates working consistently, so I removed all of them and attempted to re-create the certificates from scratch. (I should have just moved them, instead of removing them. No thanks to the documentation for mentioning rate limits when talking about renewal.) This procedure worked fine only for the subdomains where the renewal command had previously failed (because no rate limit hit). But it failed for the subdomains where the renewal command had succeeded. I still could not get all of my subdomain certificates working. Now a few of the certs were working but the others were missing because I could not create a certificate.

Finally after several days of broken HTTPS on my site I got tired of waiting and tried to make a wildcard certificate, but still ran into the rate limits.

HTTPS on my site is borked. I blame Let's Encrypt's hair-trigger rate limits and poor documentation. I currently have ::no idea:: when the rate limits expire or when I can successfully create the certificates I'm missing. In the meantime I'm trying to create the missing certs once a day and running into rate limits each time, so I have no idea if I'm going to be maxing out the rate limit indefinitely. I have no transparency into what is happening, how long I need to wait, or when this will work again.

Quoting from the rate limits page:

There is a Failed Validation limit of 5 failures per account, per hostname, per hour. This limit is higher on our staging environment, so you can use that environment to debug connectivity problems.

This information is incorrect and is simply not the case. I've been waiting for this to be fixed for ::five days:: and the rate limit police are still not letting any certs be created.

Any help is appreciated.

Hi @charlesreid1,

I didn't find your criticism very constructive, but taking you at your word that "Any help is appreciated", I'll offer these resources:

The 'Certificates per Registered Domain' limit (20 certificates per week that share the same Registered Domain: charlesreid1.com) has been exceeded. There is no way to work around this rate limit. The next non-renewal certificate for this Registered Domain should be issuable after 2018-07-06 21:58:24 +0000 UTC (27h33m0s from now).

We're always interested in improving our documentation, so I'd be happy for any suggestions of what information should be communicated where or when.

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Note that renewals -- defined as issuing a certificate for the exact same set of names as a previous certificate -- bypass the Certificates per Registered Domain rate limit (but still count against it, and don't bypass the duplicate certificate rate limit).

If you're careful -- and, where needed, fix any subdomains that weren't working -- you can renew or replace your old certificates.

Note also that crt.sh, which is also used as the backend for Let's Debug, has been running a little behind recently. If you issued more certificates in the last couple days they may not be in that database yet.


The two sites you linked to are useful. Maybe add a "troubleshooting" section to the renewal page that tells people how to find this useful information.


The ‘Certificates per Registered Domain’ limit (20 certificates per week that share the same Registered Domain: charlesreid1.com)

This is a much more useful way to word things, instead of the more ambiguous wording on the rate limits page:

You can issue 20 certificates in week 1, 20 more certificates in week 2, and so on, while not interfering with renewals of existing certificates.

Thanks for those suggestions!

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