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How to install the Lets Encrypt Extension for Plesk 12.5

Difficulty: Advanced

Prerequisites

  • Admin access to your Plesk 12.5 server

Overview

This guide will show you how to install and configure the Lets Encrypt extension on a Plesk 12.5 based Linux server.

Lets Encrypt is an initiative from the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), which has been formed by companies such as Cisco, Mozilla, Akamai and others. The aim is to run an open certificate authority (CA) and provide free encryption (SSL Certificate) to anyone who owns a domain name.

More Info: letsencrypt.org

Warning: There are a number of important items to consider before installing this on your server.

  1. Lets Encrypt is only in beta. There may be bugs in both the client and extension which could cause issues on a production server. **
  2. Certificates are only valid for 90 days. Unlike other CA's, Lets Encrypt have short expiries to limit the exposure if there is a certificate compromise.

    **UPDATE: April 12th 2016 Let's Encrypt out of BETA for more details see Let's Encrypt Blog

Instructions

  1. Login to your Plesk 12.5 server and select Extensions from the left hand menu:
    Plesk 12.5 - Extensions
  2. Click on the Extensions Catalog:
    Plesk 12.5 - Extensions Catalog
  3. Select the Lets Encrypt extension and click "Install":
    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encrypt Extension
  4. Once the extension is installed, click on the extension name to a list of domains currently on your Plesk server:
    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encrypt - Domains

    Note: As the domain will be validated, you need to ensure the selected domain is pointed at this server.
  5. Enter an email address to be used for key recovery and notices from Lets Encrypt:
    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encypt - Key recovery email
  6. Click Install to generate the certificate. This will take care of the process of talking to the Lets Encrypt servers automatically.
  7. Once complete, you should see a notice like this:
    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encrypt Certificate Installed
  8. You can now browse to your site to ensure that the SSL certificate was successfully installed:
    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encrypt - SSL Installed

    Plesk 12.5 - Lets Encrypt - Certificate Information
  9. Plesk automatically adds a schedule to renew the certificates every 30 days, so there's no need to manually renew them.

Our experience with the extension has been very smooth so far, if you have any questions or want to see further screenshots then please have a look at the official page here: https://ext.plesk.com/packages/f6847e61-33a7-4104-8dc9-d26a0183a8dd-letsencrypt

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