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How to Get FREE SSL Certificate using Let’s Encrypt for Apache

How to Get FREE SSL Certificate using Let’s Encrypt for Apache

SSL Certificate is mandatory for any transactional services based business website to comply with PCI DSS. It secures the data transmitted from client to server. Having SSL (HTTPS) to your website also helps you to boost ranking in Google.

Usually, SSL cert cost more than $200 however if you need a certificate for a non-production environment where data transaction is not critical you may try FREE SSL by Let’s Encrypt.

Let’s Encrypt is an open certificate authority (CA) sponsored by SUCURI, Cisco, Facebook, AKAMAI, Chrome, Automatic, SiteGround, etc that issue SSL certificate in free.

Let’s Encrypt has already issued close to one million SSL certificate till date.

letsencrypt-stats

Let’s get it started by using Let’s Encrypt to get SSL cert on Linux environment for Apache HTTP Server.

Below example is based on techpostal.com hosted on DigitalOcean with Apache HTTP server.

Installing Let’s Encrypt

  • Login into Linux server
  • Go to path where you want to install the let’s encrypt
  • Clone the git repository of let’s encrypt
git clone https://github.com/letsencrypt/letsencrypt

Note: if you don’t have git installed then you may use yum command to install it.

yum install git

You will see new folder “letsencrypt” created in your present working directory

drwxr-xr-x. 14 root root 4096 Mar 6 01:00 letsencrypt
  • Go to newly created folder
cd letsencrypt

Execute below command to install its all dependency

./letsencrypt-auto

This may take few minutes to install. It will look for ServerName in Apache httpd.conf file and prompt to confirm the name which you would like the activate HTTPS for.

  • Select the domain name from the list and OK

letsencrypt-select-domain

  • Enter the email address and OK

letsencrypt-email

  • Agree on the Terms of Service

letsencrypt-agree

  • It will prompt to choose if you would like to allow HTTP and HTTPS both or ONLY HTTPS.

letsencrypt-choose

  1. Easy: Allow HTTP and HTTPS both
  2. Secure: Allow only HTTPS
  • Select the one you want and OK

It will take few seconds and then give you confirmation on successfully enabled SSL cert on your domain.

letsencrypt-success

To validate, access your HTTPS URL and you should see it’s issued by “Let’s Encrypt Authority”

letsencrypt-issued-cert

You see the entire process to get SSL cert is very easy. If you are looking for SSL cert in free then you may tryout Let’s Encrypt.

Once you have SSL certificate enabled for your website then don’t forget to have proper monitoring in place so you get notified before it expires.

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Chandan Kumar
About Chandan
Chandan Kumar is the founder and editor of Geek Flare. Learn more here and connect with him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. In your post you said “non-production environment where data transaction is not critical” do you mean that it cannot be used for commercial sites? For example, I’m considering using it for my ecommerce store, its subdomains and my blog too, can I use it or not allowed? Please advise asap! Thank you

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