Auto renew Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate using Systemd and restart Nginx / Apache if success

On other post, we create an article how to obtain Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate on Centos 6/7/8 or RHEL 6/7/8.

As we know, Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate is expired in 3 months.

If we only have one or two SSL Certificate, it’s may be not a big problem.

Also Read: How to obtain Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate for Apache or Nginx using Certbot

But how if we have about 100 or 200 SSL and generate in different date?

Yes there is a big problem, even Let’s Encrypt will remind us when SSL Certificate will expired in about 30 or 15 days.

We can use Linux cronjob, and I ever use it. But it’s not good idea.

Better way is using systemd service and systemd timer.

Create systemd.service and systemd.timer to renew Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate

We use Certbot with stand alone when we obtain new Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate.

Renewal configuration is on /etc/letsencrypt/renewal

Now check file on /etc/letsencrypt/renewal, for example /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/

Related Post
# renew_before_expiry = 30 days
version = 1.0.0
archive_dir = /etc/letsencrypt/archive/
cert = /etc/letsencrypt/live/
privkey = /etc/letsencrypt/live/
chain = /etc/letsencrypt/live/
fullchain = /etc/letsencrypt/live/

# Options used in the renewal process
authenticator = webroot
account = hidden
server =
webroot_path = /home/serverdiary/public_html
post_hook = systemctl restart nginx

Because webroot_path is same, so there is no configuration on webroot_map

Example webroot_map on single SSL with different webroot_path

[[webroot_map]] = /home/serverdiary/public_html = /home/serverdiary/public_html = /home/serverdiary/public_html/img

Create a file /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service

# vi /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service

And paste code below:

Description=Certbot Renewal

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/certbot renew --post-hook "systemctl reload nginx"

Create a file /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.time

# vi /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.timer

Paste code below:

Description=Timer for Certbot Renewal



Change permission to 755:

# chmod 755 /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service
# chmod 755 /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.timer

Reload sysmctl daemon, enable at system start and start services with command:

# systemctl daemon-reload
# systemctl enable /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service
# systemctl enable /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.timer
# systemctl start /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.service
# systemctl start /etc/systemd/system/letsencrypt.timer

Letsencrypt.timer will call Letsencrypt.service every 6 hours and if there is one SSL successfully renewed, Nginx service will be restarted.

Now we can forgot about Let’s Encrypt SSL Expiration time. But some times don’t forget to make sure your website’s SSL is renewed.

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