Unable to find a virtual host listening on port 80

I'm on a VPS server, this is what I got as a message:
certbot --apache -d me.exempt.com
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Requesting a certificate for me.exempt.com
Unable to find a virtual host listening on port 80 which is currently needed for Certbot to prove to the CA that you control your domain. Please add a virtual host for port 80.
Ask for help or search for solutions at https://community.letsencrypt.org. See the logfile /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log or re-run Certbot with -v for more details.

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Welcome to the Let's Encrypt Community :slightly_smiling_face:

What is the output of:

sudo apachectl -S
1 Like

Hello griffin,

Thank you for the welcome, I hope you will help me.
Here is the return

[~]# apachectl -S
VirtualHost configuration:
*:443                  me.exempt.com (/etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf:40)
ServerRoot: "/etc/httpd"
Main DocumentRoot: "/var/www/html"
Main ErrorLog: "/etc/httpd/logs/error_log"
Mutex lua-ivm-shm: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-stapling: using_defaults
Mutex proxy: using_defaults
Mutex authn-socache: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-cache: using_defaults
Mutex default: dir="/etc/httpd/run/" mechanism=default
Mutex cache-socache: using_defaults
Mutex authdigest-opaque: using_defaults
Mutex watchdog-callback: using_defaults
Mutex proxy-balancer-shm: using_defaults
Mutex rewrite-map: using_defaults
Mutex ssl-stapling-refresh: using_defaults
Mutex authdigest-client: using_defaults
PidFile: "/etc/httpd/run/httpd.pid"
User: name="apache" id=48
Group: name="apache" id=48

Well, as shown, it makes sense that certbot complains with:

Only the HTTPS vhost config is in use:

What happened to the HTTP vhost config?
You will need a working HTTP site before it can be secured (via HTTP validation).
[although you could have certbot act as the HTTP server with "--standalone" - not recommended]

What shows?:
ls -l /etc/apache2/sites-available/

# ls -l /etc/apache2/sites-available/
ls: cannot access '/etc/apache2/sites-available/': No such file or directory

Sorry, wrong version of Apache.
ls -l /etc/httpd/conf.d/
ls -l /etc/httpd/sites-enabled/


[was there no original HTTP vhost config file?]


I have that:

# ls -l /etc/httpd/conf.d/
total 32
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2926 Nov 12 10:28 autoindex.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1618 May  7  2020 php.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  400 Nov 12 10:28 README
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 8720 Nov 12 10:24 ssl.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1252 Nov 12 10:24 userdir.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  574 Nov 12 10:24 welcome.conf


# ls -l /etc/httpd/sites-enabled/
ls: cannot access '/etc/httpd/sites-enabled/': No such file or directory

How did you get the cert in use?
Was there ever an HTTP vhost config?


Hmmm, the certificate is not yet installed.
I installed the SSL certificate on my first server by following this tutorial: Install Let’s Encrypt SSL on CentOS 8 / RHEL 8 with Apache - Shouts
Unfortunately it blocks for the second server

Please show file:

and output of:
certbot certificates

# cat /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf
# When we also provide SSL we have to listen to the
# standard HTTPS port in addition.
Listen 443 https

##  SSL Global Context
##  All SSL configuration in this context applies both to
##  the main server and all SSL-enabled virtual hosts.

#   Pass Phrase Dialog:
#   Configure the pass phrase gathering process.
#   The filtering dialog program (`builtin' is a internal
#   terminal dialog) has to provide the pass phrase on stdout.
SSLPassPhraseDialog exec:/usr/libexec/httpd-ssl-pass-dialog

#   Inter-Process Session Cache:
#   Configure the SSL Session Cache: First the mechanism
#   to use and second the expiring timeout (in seconds).
SSLSessionCache         shmcb:/run/httpd/sslcache(512000)
SSLSessionCacheTimeout  300

# Use "SSLCryptoDevice" to enable any supported hardware
# accelerators. Use "openssl engine -v" to list supported
# engine names.  NOTE: If you enable an accelerator and the
# server does not start, consult the error logs and ensure
# your accelerator is functioning properly.
SSLCryptoDevice builtin
#SSLCryptoDevice ubsec

## SSL Virtual Host Context

<VirtualHost _default_:443>

# General setup for the virtual host, inherited from global configuration
#DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
#ServerName www.example.com:443

# Use separate log files for the SSL virtual host; note that LogLevel
# is not inherited from httpd.conf.
ErrorLog logs/ssl_error_log
TransferLog logs/ssl_access_log
LogLevel warn

#   SSL Engine Switch:
#   Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host.
SSLEngine on

#   List the protocol versions which clients are allowed to connect with.
#   The OpenSSL system profile is used by default.  See
#   update-crypto-policies(8) for more details.
#SSLProtocol all -SSLv3
#SSLProxyProtocol all -SSLv3

#   User agents such as web browsers are not configured for the user's
#   own preference of either security or performance, therefore this
#   must be the prerogative of the web server administrator who manages
#   cpu load versus confidentiality, so enforce the server's cipher order.
SSLHonorCipherOrder on

#   SSL Cipher Suite:
#   List the ciphers that the client is permitted to negotiate.
#   See the mod_ssl documentation for a complete list.
#   The OpenSSL system profile is configured by default.  See
#   update-crypto-policies(8) for more details.

#   Point SSLCertificateFile at a PEM encoded certificate.  If
#   the certificate is encrypted, then you will be prompted for a
#   pass phrase.  Note that restarting httpd will prompt again.  Keep
#   in mind that if you have both an RSA and a DSA certificate you
#   can configure both in parallel (to also allow the use of DSA
#   ciphers, etc.)
#   Some ECC cipher suites (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4492.txt)
#   require an ECC certificate which can also be configured in
#   parallel.
SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt

#   Server Private Key:
#   If the key is not combined with the certificate, use this
#   directive to point at the key file.  Keep in mind that if
#   you've both a RSA and a DSA private key you can configure
#   both in parallel (to also allow the use of DSA ciphers, etc.)
#   ECC keys, when in use, can also be configured in parallel
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key

#   Server Certificate Chain:
#   Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the
#   concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the
#   certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively
#   the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
#   when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server
#   certificate for convenience.
#SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/server-chain.crt

#   Certificate Authority (CA):
#   Set the CA certificate verification path where to find CA
#   certificates for client authentication or alternatively one
#   huge file containing all of them (file must be PEM encoded)
#SSLCACertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt

#   Client Authentication (Type):
#   Client certificate verification type and depth.  Types are
#   none, optional, require and optional_no_ca.  Depth is a
#   number which specifies how deeply to verify the certificate
#   issuer chain before deciding the certificate is not valid.
#SSLVerifyClient require
#SSLVerifyDepth  10

#   Access Control:
#   With SSLRequire you can do per-directory access control based
#   on arbitrary complex boolean expressions containing server
#   variable checks and other lookup directives.  The syntax is a
#   mixture between C and Perl.  See the mod_ssl documentation
#   for more details.
#<Location />
#SSLRequire (    %{SSL_CIPHER} !~ m/^(EXP|NULL)/ \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Snake Oil, Ltd." \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} in {"Staff", "CA", "Dev"} \
#            and %{TIME_WDAY} >= 1 and %{TIME_WDAY} <= 5 \
#            and %{TIME_HOUR} >= 8 and %{TIME_HOUR} <= 20       ) \
#           or %{REMOTE_ADDR} =~ m/^192\.76\.162\.[0-9]+$/

#   SSL Engine Options:
#   Set various options for the SSL engine.
#   o FakeBasicAuth:
#     Translate the client X.509 into a Basic Authorisation.  This means that
#     the standard Auth/DBMAuth methods can be used for access control.  The
#     user name is the `one line' version of the client's X.509 certificate.
#     Note that no password is obtained from the user. Every entry in the user
#     file needs this password: `xxj31ZMTZzkVA'.
#   o ExportCertData:
#     This exports two additional environment variables: SSL_CLIENT_CERT and
#     SSL_SERVER_CERT. These contain the PEM-encoded certificates of the
#     server (always existing) and the client (only existing when client
#     authentication is used). This can be used to import the certificates
#     into CGI scripts.
#   o StdEnvVars:
#     This exports the standard SSL/TLS related `SSL_*' environment variables.
#     Per default this exportation is switched off for performance reasons,
#     because the extraction step is an expensive operation and is usually
#     useless for serving static content. So one usually enables the
#     exportation for CGI and SSI requests only.
#   o StrictRequire:
#     This denies access when "SSLRequireSSL" or "SSLRequire" applied even
#     under a "Satisfy any" situation, i.e. when it applies access is denied
#     and no other module can change it.
#   o OptRenegotiate:
#     This enables optimized SSL connection renegotiation handling when SSL
#     directives are used in per-directory context.
#SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire
<FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
<Directory "/var/www/cgi-bin">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

#   SSL Protocol Adjustments:
#   The safe and default but still SSL/TLS standard compliant shutdown
#   approach is that mod_ssl sends the close notify alert but doesn't wait for
#   the close notify alert from client. When you need a different shutdown
#   approach you can use one of the following variables:
#   o ssl-unclean-shutdown:
#     This forces an unclean shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. no
#     SSL close notify alert is sent or allowed to be received.  This violates
#     the SSL/TLS standard but is needed for some brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this when you receive I/O errors because of the standard approach where
#     mod_ssl sends the close notify alert.
#   o ssl-accurate-shutdown:
#     This forces an accurate shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. a
#     SSL close notify alert is sent and mod_ssl waits for the close notify
#     alert of the client. This is 100% SSL/TLS standard compliant, but in
#     practice often causes hanging connections with brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this only for browsers where you know that their SSL implementation
#     works correctly.
#   Notice: Most problems of broken clients are also related to the HTTP
#   keep-alive facility, so you usually additionally want to disable
#   keep-alive for those clients, too. Use variable "nokeepalive" for this.
#   Similarly, one has to force some clients to use HTTP/1.0 to workaround
#   their broken HTTP/1.1 implementation. Use variables "downgrade-1.0" and
#   "force-response-1.0" for this.
BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-5]" \
         nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
         downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0

#   Per-Server Logging:
#   The home of a custom SSL log file. Use this when you want a
#   compact non-error SSL logfile on a virtual host basis.
CustomLog logs/ssl_request_log \
          "%t %h %{SSL_PROTOCOL}x %{SSL_CIPHER}x \"%r\" %b"

# certbot certificates
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
No certificates found.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It's kinda weird for Apache to not have a default HTTP site on port 80. Did you remove any configuration files after installing Apache for the first time?


The HTTP page works fine here at my place.
Just for information, the subdomain put in this ticket is not good, because I am changing it on purpose, please see the attached screenshot of what is displayed in http.

Perhaps it is not listed because it is part of the main config file (not a separate vhost config file).


What does this show?

sudo netstat -pant | grep -i listen | grep -Ei '80|443|apache'

I am looking for solutions to install the SSL certificate on this server, because I have to put my end-of-study project there.

# netstat -pant | grep -i listen | grep -Ei '80|443|apache'
tcp6       0      0 :::80                   :::*                    LISTEN      890/httpd    
tcp6       0      0 :::443                  :::*                    LISTEN      890/httpd    

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Other volunteers ... I don't have Centos but on my RHEL I would see listeners for IPv4 in addition to the ones for tcp6. Could the DNS be pointing to some other system? Hard to assess without knowing actual domain name. Is this possible cause?


Without knowing the real domain name, it's going to be impossible for us to directly check the DNS for issues.


@Armis You should check that your DNS matches your server. We would normally help but you would have to share your domain name (as requested in the Help form you were presented initially). In fact, we probably already would have diagnosed this if given the actual domain name.

Do this on your server:

curl -4 ifconfig.co
curl -6 ifconfig.co

And ensure it matches the DNS in the public internet. Use a tool like this to be sure it is the public DNS:


I am wondering if your DNS is pointing to some sort of landing page or hosting default instead of this Apache server you have shown us. That would explain the odd things we see. There may be other explanations - but this is one possible one.