Obtains certificates from Let's Encrypt, using Lexicon to answer DNS-based challenges
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Let’s Encrypt Lexicon Service

This container uses the awesome Lexicon library with dehydrated to automatically obtain SSL certs from Let’s Encrypt.

Multiple domains, as well as SANs, are supported. Certificates will be renewed automatically, and obtained automatically as soon as new domains are added.


Accepting Let’s Encrypt’s terms

In order to issue certificates with Let’s Encrypt, you must agree to the Let’s Encrypt terms of service. You can do this by running the command /dehydrated --register --accept-terms from within the container.

For ease of automation, you can define the ACCEPT_CA_TERMS env var (with any non-empty value) to automatically accept the terms. Be warned that doing so will automatically accept any future changes to the terms of service.

Defining domains

The container defines one volume at /letsencrypt, and expects there to be a list of domains in /letsencrypt/domains.txt. Certificates are output to /letsencrypt/certs/{domain}.

domains.txt should contain one line per certificate. If you want alternate names on the cert, these should be listed after the primary domain. e.g.

example.com www.example.com

This will request two certificates: one for example.com with a SAN of www.example.com, and a separate one for admin.example.com.

To obtain a wildcard certificate you must alias the domain:

*.example.com > star_example_com

This will request the wildcard certificate and store it under star_example_com. For more information see Dehydrated’s docs.

The container uses inotify to monitor the domains.txt file for changes, so you can update it while the container is running and changes will be automatically applied.

DNS providers

To verify that you own the domain, a TXT record needs to be automatically created for it. The Lexicon library handles this, and comes with support for a variety of providers including CloudFlare, EasyDNS, DigitalOcean and Vultr.

Lexicon takes its configuration from environment variables. For full instructions, see its README.

To configure Lexicon to update DNS hosted by CloudFlare, for example, you would pass in:

docker run ... \
  -e "PROVIDER=cloudflare" \
  -e "LEXICON_CLOUDFLARE_USERNAME=email@address.com" \
  -e "LEXICON_CLOUDFLARE_TOKEN=api-key-here"

Other configuration

For testing purposes, you can set the STAGING environment variable to a non-empty value. This will use the Let’s Encrypt staging server, which has much more relaxed limits.

You should pass in a contact e-mail address by setting the EMAIL env var. This is passed on to Let’s Encrypt, and may be used for important service announcements.


Here’s a full worked example:

# The directory we'll use to store the domain list and certificates.
# You could use a docker volume instead.
mkdir /tmp/letsencrypt
echo "domain.com www.domain.com" > /tmp/letsencrypt/domains.txt

docker run -d --restart=always \
  -e "EMAIL=admin@domain.com" \
  -e "STAGING=true" \
  -e "PROVIDER=cloudflare" \
  -e "LEXICON_CLOUDFLARE_USERNAME=email@address.com" \
  -e "LEXICON_CLOUDFLARE_TOKEN=api-key-here" \
  -v /tmp/letsencrypt:/letsencrypt \