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Last pushed: 18 hours ago
Short Description
A Letsencrypt nginx container, brought to you by
Full Description

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This container sets up an Nginx webserver and reverse proxy with php support and a built-in letsencrypt client that automates free SSL server certificate generation and renewal processes. It also contains fail2ban for intrusion prevention.


docker create \
  --cap-add=NET_ADMIN \
  --name=letsencrypt \
  -v <path to data>:/config \
  -e PGID=<gid> -e PUID=<uid>  \
  -e EMAIL=<email> \
  -e URL=<url> \
  -e SUBDOMAINS=<subdomains> \
  -e VALIDATION=<method> \
  -p 80:80 -p 443:443 \
  -e TZ=<timezone> \


The parameters are split into two halves, separated by a colon, the left hand side representing the host and the right the container side. For example with a port -p external:internal - what this shows is the port mapping from internal to external of the container. So -p 8080:80 would expose port 80 from inside the container to be accessible from the host's IP on port 8080 http://192.168.x.x:8080 would show you what's running INSIDE the container on port 80.

  • -p 80 -p 443 - the port(s)
  • -v /config - all the config files including the webroot reside here
  • -e URL - the top url you have control over ("" if you own it, or "" if dynamic dns)
  • -e SUBDOMAINS - subdomains you'd like the cert to cover (comma separated, no spaces) ie. www,ftp,cloud. For a wildcard cert, set this exactly to wildcard (wildcard cert is available via dns validation only)
  • -e VALIDATION - letsencrypt validation method to use, options are http, tls-sni or dns (dns method also requires DNSPLUGIN variable set)
  • -e PGID for GroupID - see below for explanation
  • -e PUID for UserID - see below for explanation
  • -e TZ - timezone ie. America/New_York

Optional settings:

  • -e DNSPLUGIN - required if VALIDATION is set to dns. Options are cloudflare, cloudxns, digitalocean, dnsimple, dnsmadeeasy, google, luadns, nsone, rfc2136 and route53. Also need to enter the credentials into the corresponding ini file under /config/dns-conf
  • -e EMAIL - your e-mail address for cert registration and notifications
  • -e DHLEVEL - dhparams bit value (default=2048, can be set to 1024 or 4096)
  • -p 80 - Port 80 forwarding is required when VALIDATION is set to http, but not dns or tls-sni
  • -e ONLY_SUBDOMAINS - if you wish to get certs only for certain subdomains, but not the main domain (main domain may be hosted on another machine and cannot be validated), set this to true
  • -e EXTRA_DOMAINS - additional fully qualified domain names (comma separated, no spaces) ie.,
  • -e STAGING - set to true to retrieve certs in staging mode. Rate limits will be much higher, but the resulting cert will not pass the browser's security test. Only to be used for testing purposes.
  • -e HTTPVAL - Deprecated, please use the VALIDATION parameter instead

Important notice:

  • This image previously used tls-sni validation over port 443. However, due to a security vulnerability, letsencrypt disabled tls-sni validation: If you are getting the following error in the log, that means you are attempting tls-sni authentication, which is disabled by the servers: Client with the currently selected authenticator does not support any combination of challenges that will satisfy the CA. Please set the VALIDATION parameter to either http or dns and follow the above directions to revalidate.

It is based on alpine linux with s6 overlay, for shell access whilst the container is running do docker exec -it letsencrypt /bin/bash.

User / Group Identifiers

Sometimes when using data volumes (-v flags) permissions issues can arise between the host OS and the container. We avoid this issue by allowing you to specify the user PUID and group PGID. Ensure the data volume directory on the host is owned by the same user you specify and it will "just work" ™.

In this instance PUID=1001 and PGID=1001. To find yours use id user as below:

  $ id <dockeruser>
    uid=1001(dockeruser) gid=1001(dockergroup) groups=1001(dockergroup)

Setting up the application

  • Before running this container, make sure that the url and subdomains are properly forwarded to this container's host, and that port 443 (and/or 80) is not being used by another service on the host (NAS gui, another webserver, etc.).
  • For http validation, port 80 on the internet side of the router should be forwarded to this container's port 80
  • For tls-sni validation, port 443 on the internet side of the router should be forwarded to this container's port 443
  • --cap-add=NET_ADMIN is required for fail2ban to modify iptables
  • If you need a dynamic dns provider, you can use the free provider where the url will be and the subdomains can be www,ftp,cloud
  • The container detects changes to url and subdomains, revokes existing certs and generates new ones during start. It also detects changes to the DHLEVEL parameter and replaces the dhparams file.
  • If you'd like to password protect your sites, you can use htpasswd. Run the following command on your host to generate the htpasswd file docker exec -it letsencrypt htpasswd -c /config/nginx/.htpasswd <username>


  • Shell access whilst the container is running: docker exec -it letsencrypt /bin/bash
  • To monitor the logs of the container in realtime: docker logs -f letsencrypt

  • container version number

docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}' letsencrypt

  • image version number

docker inspect -f '{{ index .Config.Labels "build_version" }}' linuxserver/letsencrypt


  • 19.04.18: Bind memcached to localhost only, add php7-sqlite3
  • 08.04.18: Fix renewal hooks
  • 29.03.18: Create pfx cert after renewal for dns validation (previous version only created it for http and tls, an oversight)
  • 29.03.18: Fix staging for v2 api
  • 13.03.18: Support for wildcard cert with dns validation added. Switched to v2 api for ACME.
  • 21.02.18: Reduce shellcheck directives by renaming secondary variables
  • 20.02.18: Sanitize variables, increase log verbosity
  • 01.02.18: Big changes. VALIDATION parameter added for choosing letsencrypt validation methods, including dns through official plugins. HTTPVAL is deprecated. STAGING parameter added for testing. Backwards compatibility for the short term. Since tls-sni is disabled by letsencrypt, most users will have to change their settings and adopt the new parameters within the next 90 days. Reorganized the nginx default config, split ssl settings into new ssl.conf
  • 13.01.18: Re-enable ipv6 due to update to fail2ban 0.10.1. Existing users can enable ipv6 by deleting /config/fail2ban/action.d/iptables-common.local and restarting the container after updating the image
  • 11.01.18: Halt the container if validation fails instead of a stop (so restart=always doesn't get users throttled with letsencrypt)
  • 10.01.18: Add option for http validation on port 80
  • 05.01.18: Rebase to alpine 3.7
  • 04.11.17: Add php7 soap module
  • 31.10.17: Add php7 exif and xmlreader modules
  • 25.09.17: Manage fail2ban via s6
  • 24.09.17: Add memcached service
  • 01.09.17: --privileged is no longer required as long as --cap-add=NET_ADMIN is added, instructions modified accordingly, disabled fail2ban ipv6 actions due to requiring access to host kernel modules
  • 31.08.17: Add php7-phar
  • 14.07.17: Enable modules dynamically in nginx.conf
  • 06.07.17: Add support for multiple domains (thanks @oznu)
  • 22.06.17: Add various nginx modules and enable all modules in the default nginx.conf
  • 16.06.17: Update deprecated certbot option for https validation, make e-mail entry optional, update readme
  • 05.06.17: Add php7-bz2
  • 27.05.17: Rebase to alpine 3.6.
  • 03.05.17: Fix log permissions.
  • 18.04.17: Add php7-sockets, update fail2ban filter and action defaults
  • 27.02.17: Add php7-dom, php7-iconv and php7-pdo_sqlite
  • 21.02.17: Add php7-xml
  • 10.02.17: Switch to alpine 3.5 base and php7, add php zlib module and all nginx modules
  • 13.01.17: Add php5-ctype and php5-openssl
  • 04.01.17: Add php5-mysqli and php5-pdo_mysql
  • 22.11.16: Add gd and mcrypt packages
  • 21.11.16: Add curl package
  • 07.11.16: Initial Release
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