How to set up Let's Encrypt with apache server on ubuntu 16.04

This article is about to setup SSL/TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt on an Ubuntu 16.04 server running Apache as a web server.

What is Let's Encrypt

The objective of Let’s Encrypt and the ACME protocol is to make it possible to set up an HTTPS server and have it automatically obtain a browser-trusted certificate, without any human intervention. This is accomplished by running a certificate management agent on the web server.

To understand how the technology works, let’s walk through the process of setting up https://example.com/ with a certificate management agent that supports Let’s Encrypt.

There are two steps to this process. First, the agent proves to the CA that the web server controls a domain. Then, the agent can request, renew, and revoke certificates for that domain.

What is SSL

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication.

The usage of SSL technology ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains encrypted.

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and, in short, it's the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details. The two systems can be a server and a client (for example, a shopping website and browser) or server to server (for example, an application with personal identifiable information or with payroll information).

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is just an updated, more secure, version of SSL. We still refer to our security certificates as SSL because it is a more commonly used term, but when you are buying SSL from Symantec you are actually buying the most up to date TLS certificates with the option of ECC, RSA or DSA encryption.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) appears in the URL when a website is secured by an SSL certificate. The details of the certificate, including the issuing authority and the corporate name of the website owner, can be viewed by clicking on the lock symbol on the browser bar.

Prerequisites

  1. Ubuntu 16.04
  2. Apache server

Install the Let's Encrypt Client

To enable HTTPS on your website, you need to get a certificate (a type of file) from a Certificate Authority (CA). Let’s Encrypt is a CA. In order to get a certificate for your website’s domain from Let’s Encrypt, you have to demonstrate control over the domain. With Let’s Encrypt, you do this using software that uses the ACME protocol. Recommend that most people start with the Certbot client

About Cerbot Certbot is part of EFF’s effort to encrypt the entire Internet. Secure communication over the Web relies on HTTPS, which requires the use of a digital certificate that lets browsers verify the identity of web servers (e.g., is that really google.com?). Web servers obtain their certificates from trusted third parties called certificate authorities (CAs). Certbot is an easy-to-use client that fetches a certificate from Let’s Encrypt—an open certificate authority launched by the EFF, Mozilla, and others—and deploys it to a web server.

First, add the repository & update the repository's package information

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
sudo apt-get update

Install Certbot from the new repository with apt-get

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

Now we successfully installed certbot

Setup an SSL Certificate

Setting Up auto Renewal

Verifying Certbot Auto-Renewal

How to Validate a Let’s Encrypt Certificate

Conclusion

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