Let’s Encrypt is a new Certificate Authority: It’s free, automated, and open.

Let’s Encrypt is a new Certificate Authority: It’s free, automated, and open.

Anyone who has gone through the trouble of setting up a secure website knows what a hassle getting a certificate can be. Let’s Encrypt automates away all this pain and lets site operators turn on HTTPS with a single click or shell command.

When Let’s Encrypt launches in mid-2015, enabling HTTPS for your site will be as easy as installing a small piece of certificate management software on the server:

$ sudo apt-get install lets-encrypt

$ lets-encrypt example.com

That’s all there is to it! https://example.com is immediately live.

The Let’s Encrypt management software will:

  • Automatically prove to the Let’s Encrypt CA that you control the website
  • Obtain a browser-trusted certificate and set it up on your web server
  • Keep track of when your certificate is going to expire, and automatically renew it
  • Help you revoke the certificate if that ever becomes necessary.

No validation emails, no complicated configuration editing, no expired certificates breaking your website. And of course, because Let’s Encrypt provides certificates for free, no need to arrange payment.

If you’d like to know more about how this works behind the scenes, check out our technical overview. Or if you really want to dive into the details, read the full protocol specification on Github.

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