Enabling the nginx plugin for letsencrypt

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I thought the instructions for enabling plugins in letsencrypt were very confusing so here is a small guide for anyone else stuck on the same problem.

It's pretty simple once you realize it's just a bunch of python packages. My instructions are for Ubuntu but it should be easy to translate.

  • Install system dependencies
    sudo apt-get install python-dev python-virtualenv libffi-dev libssl-dev
  • Create a virtualenv with Python 2 (important!) and enter it
    virtualenv -p /usr/bin/python2 venv
    . venv/bin/activate
  • Install acme
    cd acme
    python setup.py install
  • Go back to the top and install the letsencrypt module:
    cd ..
    python setup.py install
  • And finally install the letsencrypt-nginx module
    cd letsencrypt-nginx
    python setup.py install

Now you have a working letsencrypt command in your virtualenv and can enable nginx with the --nginx flag.

However since you have to run letsencrypt as root and sudo throws away a lot of your current environtmen you have to do something like:

sudo -s
. venv/bin/activate
letsencrypt --nginx

Good luck encrypting!

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