Securing ISPConfig 3 Control Panel (Port 8080) With Let's Encrypt Free SSL

Discussion in 'Tips/Tricks/Mods' started by ahrasis, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Hi Ahrasis
    I've been checking log daily basis and i thought that the certificate would renew only at 90 days...And I reveice emails from EEF about the expirying, other expired period i've done using certbot autorenew but many issues came up...So i've posted a question here, about months ago, and the answer was to do not use certbot once ISPConfig has a crontab that will renew it automatically.
    Well, anyway, many thanks to the reply to me with soo very good news about it.
    I will try what Jesse Norell has recommended to see if i can at least recover access to ISPConfig panel...
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  2. Jesse
    I've got the new version from git-stable "ISPConfig Version: 3.1dev" and the disabling and reenabling the Letsencrypt checkbox at ISPConfig->Website-> has recreated the certificate and finally the upload_2019-5-1_11-6-30.png came up.....
    At first time that i've tried to use https://URL the login has never completed, but at second time, worked.....soo many Thanks for you Jesse once seems that the problem regarding certbot has solved...
    A final question...what should a i do to have 100% sure that ISPConfig scripts will automatically renew certificates 30 days previous to expire...?
  3. Taleman

    Taleman Well-Known Member HowtoForge Supporter

    If you now have ISPConfig version from GIT stable, you are OK. It was a bug in certbot that LE sometimes could not renew certificate.
    Check the e-mail address for LE is something you read daily, so you get informed if some problem pops up and LE can not renew.
    Fabio IT Consultant and ahrasis like this.
  4. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    For me ISPConfig cron job script is working just fine but the creation and renewal are done by other software i.e. certbot in this case and through Let's Encrypt.

    So nobody can ever be 100% sure that certbot (or any other LE clients) or Let's Encrypt servers will always work, so it is best for every server administrators to have high self-discipline in going through their emails and doing regular maintenance for their servers.
    MaxT and Fabio IT Consultant like this.
  5. MaxT

    MaxT Member HowtoForge Supporter

    just one question:
    Do you think it would be possible keeping a self-signed certificate for "", and one LE certificate "" only for Postfix?.
    It would be problematic for the automatic LE renewal?
  6. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    Possible since you can always define different certs for postfix and I don't think it would be problematic for the automatic LE renewal too, but that's just my thought.
    MaxT likes this.
  7. MaxT

    MaxT Member HowtoForge Supporter

    thanks, I will try it:)
  8. HitoDev

    HitoDev New Member

    3 questions :
    1) If I understand well, despite the post date (Discussion in 'Tips/Tricks/Mods' started by ahrasis, Feb 14, 2017.) this tutorial is most recent than (Published:Feb 13, 2018) ?

    2) I have previously created symlinks for Dovecot, by following this thread (but it didn't work) :
    ln -s /etc/letsencrypt/live/ smtpd.cert
    ln -s /etc/letsencrypt/live/ smtpd.key
    Does I need to remove these symlinks before start your tutorial, or
    ln -sf /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.crt smtpd.cert
    ln -sf /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.key smtpd.key
    will automatically update the previous symlinks ?

    3) Does your method allow Thunderbird & K-9 Mail for Android to recognize certificates as valid
    without having to add an exception?

    Thanks !
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  9. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    1. Yes but both are supposed to work anyway.

    2. Yes, at least I think so.

    3. Supposedly but I never try any of them.
  10. budgierless

    budgierless Member

    Thanks for making this script iwas wating it develop for a long while but only used it after your last update on github afew days ago.

    But i have a problem after installing this script, i want to my control panal for the first time after installing the script, and i got the warning page on firefox that says Your connection is not secure, and give this option to add an exception, but i also see in the warning message that it says this IP uses an invalid security certificate! (because it is trying to use is a cert that is for one of my domains i have on my server).
    why is this cert trying to be used in the wrong place at the ispconfig login page, should your script not of created an cert for this? and what can i do to fix this issue?

  11. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    The latest update was to fix the additional incron command where there shouldn't be a space after the comma in between the commands.

    It sound like no LE SSL certs were created. I'd say - check your server hostname fqdn by running hostname -f command and if it is correct, re run the script again.
    budgierless likes this.
  12. HitoDev

    HitoDev New Member

    When I go to https://
    I get:
    And Firefox reports another SSL domain name than the hostname

    Here is the SSL vhost section:
      # SSL Configuration
        SSLEngine On
        SSLProtocol All -SSLv3
            #SSLCertificateFile /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.crt
            SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
            #SSLCertificateKeyFile /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.key
            SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
      #SSLCACertificateFile /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.pem
    With this method is it also necessary to create a DNS zone in ispConfig for the server hostname ?
    I didn't get error messages during certificate generation. Any idea ?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  13. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    I do not have any idea of your error(r) as we do not use dns-challenge to obtain LE SSL certs therefore it is not necessary to create a DNS zone in ISPConfig for the server hostname. We only need to have the server hostname fqdn to be accessible publicly via port 80 and 443 (the web server ports) so that cerbot can process the issuance of LE SSL certs.

    If you follow the original tutorial or use this LE4ISPC script, the result should be the same i.e. we will be using SSLCertificateFile /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl/ispserver.crt instead of SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/ in the vhost since the former will be symlink to the later.
  14. HitoDev

    HitoDev New Member

    thank you for your reply.

    Then I guess there is a problem during certificate creation. The domain linked to the cert is the first LestEncrypt domain in alphabetical order, not the server hostname.
    When I check hostname -f, the result is OK
    Previously I clean up a former cert by deleting:


    UPDATE :
    I found the problem, I have edited
    nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/ispconfig.vhost

    Then in my case I would do:
    sed -i "s/#SSL/SSL/g" /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-ispconfig.vhost
    sed -i "s/SSLCACertificateFile/#SSLCACertificateFile/g" /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-ispconfig.vhost
    sed -i "s/#SSL/SSL/g" /etc/apache2/sites-available/ispconfig.vhost
    sed -i "s/SSLCACertificateFile/#SSLCACertificateFile/g" /etc/apache2/sites-available/ispconfig.vhost

    Both have an SSL Configuration section
    It works but I doubt it's normal...
    It appears ispconfig.vhost is not symlinked to 000-ispconfig.vhost
    Finaly I deleted 000-ispconfig.vhost and created the symlink:
    ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/ispconfig.vhost /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-ispconfig.vhost

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
    ahrasis likes this.
  15. Neptun

    Neptun Member

    Dear @ahrasis,
    i have an issue at the usage of the certs at my mail server, when i use instead of the IP:
    Jul 25 19:35:23 server0101 postfix/smtps/smtpd[28126]: warning: TLS library problem: error:140940F5:SSL routines:ssl3_read_bytes:unexpected record:../ssl/record/rec_layer_s3.c:1696:
    Jul 25 19:35:28 server0101 postfix/smtps/smtpd[28117]: warning: TLS library problem: error:142090FC:SSL routines:tls_early_post_process_client_hello:unknown protocol:../ssl/statem/statem_srvr.c:1642:
    Jul 25 19:35:28 server0101 postfix/smtps/smtpd[28117]: warning: TLS library problem: error:1420918C:SSL routines:tls_early_post_process_client_hello:version too low:../ssl/statem/statem_srvr.c:1667:
    Jul 25 19:35:31 server0101 postfix/smtps/smtpd[28117]: warning: TLS library problem: error:1417A0C1:SSL routines:tls_post_process_client_hello:no shared cipher:../ssl/statem/statem_srvr.c:2267:
    I have tested my domains with mail accounts with this result:

    [000.289]         TLS is an option on this server
    [000.289]      -->     STARTTLS
    [000.375]     <--      220 2.0.0 Ready to start TLS
    [000.376]         STARTTLS command works on this server
    [000.483]         Connection converted to SSL
            SSLVersion in use: TLSv1_3
            Cipher in use: TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
            Certificate 1 of 3 in chain: Cert VALIDATED: ok
            Cert Hostname DOES NOT VERIFY ( != |
            So email is encrypted but the host is not verified
    thank you in advance
  16. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    1. Run "hostname -f" on your mail server to verify the server hostname fqdn.

    2. Check if Let's Encrypt SSL certs for it exists by running "ls -lat /etc/letsencrypt/*/$(hostname -f)*".

    3. Check if proper symlinks have been created from its live directory to ispconfig at /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/ssl.

    4. Check if proper symlinks have been created from there to /etc/postfix.

    5. If all the above checked out fine, check your postfox, dovecot and roundcube settings.

    Note that using this script or following the tutorial for LE SSL certs are meant to cover 1-4 for a mail server. For 5, you'll need to check with other tutorials especially the perfect server tutorial.
  17. Cracklefish

    Cracklefish Member

    I have followed your tutorial and all seems to run normally except for a "wrong server" error from Thunderbird when collecting mail from Dovecot. I am using an external DNS and created subdomains: and many years ago. How can I add these subdomains to the certificate?
  18. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    I do not think external dns server caused the error but it is more likely the way your mail server is setup since the tutorial or script is designed to look only for hostname fqdn of your mail server and not just any other subdomains.

    I do not think you can simply add the subdomains to the existing or future LE SSL certs since they are created via website settings following the tutorial.

    However, if you create new certs manually you can include them.
  19. Cracklefish

    Cracklefish Member

    [QUOTE="ahrasis, post: 391725, member: 76386"
    However, if you create new certs manually you can include them.[/QUOTE]
    Should I install certbot and use
    certbot --expand -d,
  20. ahrasis

    ahrasis Well-Known Member

    I do think to expand the existing LE SSL certs for your web server which was obtained using webroot, to other new domain (or subdomain), the new domain to be added must also have a web access. If it does, then it should work just fine.

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