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Apache fails to start with LetsEncrypt SSL certificates

Chris Lees

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I have used Certbot for Windows to generate LetsEncrypt certificate files. This process has worked correctly, and I've checked the MD5 hash using openssl and they match too.

However, when I assign them to the vhost in the Apache conf file and try to start Apache, I get the message "Apache failed to start". My SSL directives in the VirtualHost section of the conf file are:

 SSLCertificateChainFile "${US_ROOTF}/Certbot/live/dev.harc.uk/chain.pem"
 SSLCertificateFile "${US_ROOTF}/Certbot/live/dev.harc.uk/fullchain.pem"
 SSLCertificateKeyFile "${US_ROOTF}/Certbot/live/dev.harc.uk/privkey.pem"
 SSLEngine On

When I get the error message it is in a popup. However, nothing is written to the log files in c:\UniServerZ\core\apache2\logs - in fact if I delete all the log files and try to start Apache, no log files are even created.

I have non-SSL virtual hosts working perfectly well in this server. I am also using port 8080 for http and 8081 for https.

Any ideas how I can debug this problem?

Thanks in advance.

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  • 5 months later...
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Ok.. This has been something that I have been thinking about implementing into UniformServer for some time now. I just have not time to do the research work to implement it, after I took over the UniformServer maintenance. 

Can you please DM me so that we can work together and implement the Let's Encrypt SSL certs into UniformServer.


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  • 4 weeks later...


I realize it has only been a couple of weeks, but have you been able to find time to start looking into the LET's Encrypt integration?
I'd be interested in your progress.  I use Let's Encrypt to manual insert certs into my sites hosted elsewhere.  However, I have used UniformServer for many years for local web services and now find a need to add certs to these sites as well.   I am just looking into this now, but if you've made any progress, I'd rather not duplicate efforts, or at least leverage your research.

Thanks for any insights.


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@Bannockburn Not yet.. Right now more focused on getting the version with PHP8 into the wild. Will take up the Let's Encrypt SSL integration after that. I know it has been a long pending item on my radar. Just not getting the time to focus on the development aspect of things. Thank you for your patience.

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  • 1 year later...

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