I was about to shop for an SSL cert for a domain I own, and decided to do another “free SSL” Google search.

To my pleasant surprise, I stumbled upon this project “letsencrypt” which is sponsored by quite a lot of enterprise companies (Mozilla, Facebook to name a few).

In a nutshell, this is an CLI tool which makes life easier when you wish to configure your webserver for SSL, and also provide you with a free CA SSL cert for a domain you own. Pretty neat!

I didn’t test this “quick-and-easy” setup with webservers, though. From what I see, it works via a webserver plugin.

Instead, I opted for the letsencrypt certonly --manual command. This command will require you to spin up a temporary Python webserver on a host that is verifiable by resolving the domain name. I’d say this is a small price to pay for a free SSL cert! Once that is done, you end up with your certs (and some of them bundled separately for convenience) in /etc/letsencrypt/live/$domain/ .

This piece of software has my strong recommendation. You should check out their documentation which is compact and comprehensive. Have fun securing your stuff!


While you are at it, you might want to check out Raymii’s blog post on tightening your SSL settings on Nginx.