The executable python2 (from --python=python2) does not exist


I get the following error while trying to get a certificate:

Creating virtual environment...
The executable python2 (from --python=python2) does not exist

While running VERBOSE=1 ./letsencrypt-auto --server "" --agree-dev-preview auth -d -d

Passing --python=python doesn’t help. Should I just symlink python2 to python?

Without VERBOSE=1 there’s no helpful message at all.


Hi @kelunik. May I ask what operating system you’re running on? This is a known issue on Debian squeeze (see #1078).

In my opinion, you have three options until the issue is resolved:

  1. Symlink python2 to python as you suggested.
  2. Edit letsencrypt-auto to use --python python instead of --python python2. As of writing this post, that needed edited are 64 and 66.
  3. If you feel comfortable hacking on the script, send us a pull request! Modify letsencrypt-auto to detect when python2 isn’t available and fallback to python.

I’m sorry letsencrypt-auto didn’t work for you, but any of these three approaches should fix the problem.


Indeed, it’s an old Debian squeeze server. Symlinking resolved the issue, but another one appeared. I’m not sure if it’s connected to the python version (2.6):

Collecting ConfigArgParse (from letsencrypt)
  Using cached ConfigArgParse-0.9.3.tar.gz
    Complete output from command python egg_info:
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<string>", line 20, in <module>
      File "/tmp/pip-build-j7REr4/ConfigArgParse/", line 1, in <module>
        import configargparse
      File "", line 16
        ACTION_TYPES_THAT_DONT_NEED_A_VALUE = {argparse._StoreTrueAction,
    SyntaxError: invalid syntax
Command "python egg_info" failed with error code 1 in /tmp/pip-build-j7REr4/ConfigArgParse


:frowning: that’s also a known problem (see #1046). There are some workarounds suggested there that might help you. Python 2.6 support was recently added back to the project and there are a few kinks that still have to be worked out.

[SOLVED]Error installing the client CentOS 6.7

Fine, thanks! Unfortunately no python experience.