Semi-Automatically create certs


Hi there,

Following situation: I have a server and a webspace from my hoster. The webspace does not allow to auto-create certs for subdomains, so I have to use my server for that by using the command:

./certbot-auto certonly -a manual --rsa-key-size 4096

This works fine, but I have a lot of subdomains, so I want to automate parts of it.

Once every three month I want run a script which does following:

  1. Run the above command for all my domains
  2. Autoanswer the questions
  3. Upload the verification file (well-known/acme-challenge) automatically to the webspace via FTP (own FTP server settings and path for every domain)
  4. When finished, upload the cert files also via SFTP to my webspace, so I can use activate them manually in my webhosting panel (Parallels Panel)
  5. After that I will manually delete the certs files for security reason.

So my issue is, how can I create such a script? Is there already a solution like this?

Thank you!

Automating the uploading to .well-known/acme-challenge

Have a look at GetSSL. I’m slightly biased, since I wrote it, but it’s designed to upload tokens to your server via FTP ( or SFTP, SSH ) and automate things pretty much exactly as you suggest (including uploading certs via SFTP or SSH.


Sounds very good, I’m currently trying to set it up. I set up a main domain and a bunch of other domains within the cfg of the main one. (like and, etc.)

But it seems, that the script does only check the main domain. And I get this issue:

Check all certificates
Certificate on remote domain does not match domain, ignoring remote certificate
certificate for is still valid for more than 30 days (until Mar 10 17:20:00 2017 GMT)


You can use -f to force a new cert.

I’d suggest starting with the staging cert ( as that has no rate limits ). Once you have everything working, you can use the main Let’s Encrypt server.


Ah perfect, works fine :slight_smile:

But while using sftp, I get this error:

./getssl: line 395: sshpass: command not found

And also the script does not try to create the folder, if the do not exists:

.well-known/acme-challenge: No such file or directory


Did you use the format

Also, it does use sshpass if it’s installed - what OS are you running the script on ?

Yes, with SFTP it currently expects the location to already exist ( although I could potentially modify it to create the location if it doesn’t exist)


Yes I’m using this format and ftp works fine, but sftp does not.

Where can I find the certs of the additional domains? I can only see the one from the main domain


What OS are you running on ?

By default it will place all the certs in .getssl/domain/ where “domain” is the domain name you created the cert for. (assuming you created separate certs).

If you added the other certs as SANS ( additional names on the same cert) then it’s all included in one cert valid for all the domains.


Ah ok makes sense. Is there a way I can create multiple certs, but renew all certs with one command? (is that the -a param?)

Is it recommend to use one cert for all domains or to split them into different certs?


Yes -a :slight_smile: which will check “all” certs, and renew those that need it.

That depends on your requirements. I tend to put associated domains together ( e.g. and on one cert ) and completely separate subdomains / domains on different certs.

Just be aware that there are rate limits - which limits you to 20 separate certificates for a single domain per week … so if your “lot of subdomains” is more than 20, you may want to put some on the same cert. You can have up to 100 on a single cert.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.