What is a "standalone" webserver?

The documentation of the command line option --standalone says:
Obtain certificates using a "standalone" webserver.

What means “standalone” in this context?

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Without a “third party” webserver like Apache or nginx. Certbot will use some kind of Python module to temporary spin up its own webserver, which will be disabled again when it isn’t used any longer.

You can read more about the plugins on the certbot home page and its manual:

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