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letsencrypt/acme client implemented as a shell-script – just add water

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Quick note: dehydrated moved, the license will NOT change, and I will still take care of the project. See for more details.

Dehydrated is a client for signing certificates with an ACME-server (e.g. Let's Encrypt) implemented as a relatively simple (zsh-compatible) bash-script. This client supports both ACME v1 and the new ACME v2 including support for wildcard certificates!

It uses the

utility for everything related to actually handling keys and certificates, so you need to have that installed.

Other dependencies are: cURL, sed, grep, awk, mktemp (all found pre-installed on almost any system, cURL being the only exception).

Current features: - Signing of a list of domains (including wildcard domains!) - Signing of a custom CSR (either standalone or completely automated using hooks!) - Renewal if a certificate is about to expire or defined set of domains changed - Certificate revocation

Please keep in mind that this software, the ACME-protocol and all supported CA servers out there are relatively young and there might be a few issues. Feel free to report any issues you find with this script or contribute by submitting a pull request, but please check for duplicates first (feel free to comment on those to get things rolling).

Getting started

For getting started I recommend taking a look at docs/, docs/ and the Usage section on this page (you'll probably only need the


Generally you want to set up your WELLKNOWN path first, and then fill in domains.txt.

Please note that you should use the staging URL when experimenting with this script to not hit Let's Encrypt's rate limits. See docs/

If you have any problems take a look at our Troubleshooting guide.


dehydrated is looking for a config file in a few different places, it will use the first one it can find in this order:

  • /etc/dehydrated/config
  • /usr/local/etc/dehydrated/config
  • The current working directory of your shell
  • The directory from which dehydrated was run

Have a look at docs/examples/config to get started, copy it to e.g.

and edit it to fit your needs.


Usage: ./dehydrated [-h] [command [argument]] [parameter [argument]] [parameter [argument]] ...

Default command: help

Commands: --version (-v) Print version information --display-terms Display current terms of service --register Register account key --account Update account contact information --cron (-c) Sign/renew non-existent/changed/expiring certificates. --signcsr (-s) path/to/csr.pem Sign a given CSR, output CRT on stdout (advanced usage) --revoke (-r) path/to/cert.pem Revoke specified certificate --deactivate Deactivate account --cleanup (-gc) Move unused certificate files to archive directory --cleanup-delete (-gcd) Deletes (!) unused certificate files --help (-h) Show help text --env (-e) Output configuration variables for use in other scripts

Parameters: --accept-terms Accept CAs terms of service --full-chain (-fc) Print full chain when using --signcsr --ipv4 (-4) Resolve names to IPv4 addresses only --ipv6 (-6) Resolve names to IPv6 addresses only --domain (-d) domain.tld Use specified domain name(s) instead of domains.txt entry (one certificate!) --ca url/preset Use specified CA URL or preset --alias certalias Use specified name for certificate directory (and per-certificate config) instead of the primary domain (only used if --domain is specified) --keep-going (-g) Keep going after encountering an error while creating/renewing multiple certificates in cron mode --force (-x) Force renew of certificate even if it is longer valid than value in RENEW_DAYS --force-validation Force revalidation of domain names (used in combination with --force) --no-lock (-n) Don't use lockfile (potentially dangerous!) --lock-suffix Suffix lockfile name with a string (useful for with -d) --ocsp Sets option in CSR indicating OCSP stapling to be mandatory --privkey (-p) path/to/key.pem Use specified private key instead of account key (useful for revocation) --domains-txt path/to/domains.txt Use specified domains.txt instead of default/configured one --config (-f) path/to/config Use specified config file --hook (-k) path/to/ Use specified script for hooks --preferred-chain issuer-cn Use alternative certificate chain identified by issuer CN --out (-o) certs/directory Output certificates into the specified directory --alpn alpn-certs/directory Output alpn verification certificates into the specified directory --challenge (-t) http-01|dns-01 Which challenge should be used? Currently http-01 and dns-01 are supported --algo (-a) rsa|prime256v1|secp384r1 Which public key algorithm should be used? Supported: rsa, prime256v1 and secp384r1


I'm a student hacker with a few (unfortunately) quite expensive hobbies (self-hosting, virtualization clusters, routing, high-speed networking, embedded hardware, etc.). I'm really having fun playing around with hard- and software and I'm steadily learning new things. Without those hobbies I probably would never have started working on dehydrated to begin with :)

I'd really appreciate if you could donate a bit of money so I can buy cool stuff (while still being able to afford food :D).

If you have hardware laying around that you think I'd enjoy playing with (e.g. decommissioned but still modern-ish servers, 10G networking hardware, enterprise grade routers or APs, interesting ARM/MIPS boards, etc.) and that you would be willing to ship to me please contact me at

[email protected]
or on Twitter @lukas2511.

If you want your name to be added to the donations list please add a note or send me an email

[email protected]
. I respect your privacy and won't publish your name without permission.

Other ways of donating: - My Amazon Wishlist - Monero: 4Kkf4tF4r9DakxLj37HDXLJgmpVfQoFhT7JLDvXwtUZZMTbsK9spsAPXivWPAFcDUj6jHhY8hJSHX8Cb8ndMhKeQHPSkBZZiK89Fx8NTHk - Bitcoin: 12487bHxcrREffTGwUDnoxF1uYxCA7ztKK

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