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Let's Encrypt on Linux and FreeBSD with NGINX

An e-book guide to configuring a simple HTTPS-enabled NGINX Setup for Linux and FreeBSD servers, using a free Let’s Encrypt Certificate.

Why this guide?

With all the recent headlines about security and surveillance, you've probably wondered, "what can *I* do to help?" If you run a website (or are planning on running one in the near future), running a website that serves encrypted HTTPS traffic is one of the best places to start.

This little e-book is a no-nonsense guide to getting a free TLS/SSL certificate installed on your Linux or FreeBSD server, using the awesome nginx web server. In the course of a few hours, you'll learn how to convert your self-hosted website to use secure, encrypted HTTPS.

And while you're doing that, you'll learn practical sysadmin theory and skills, like

  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • nginx installation and configuration
  • encryption
  • shell scripting
  • scheduling jobs (crontab)
  • what HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is, and how to configure it

When you finish, you'll have a website configured, serving encrypted traffic using a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate.


Advertising companies, governments, and criminals are trying to track and record every move you make, every interest you show, and every thought you hint at. Unencrypted web traffic helps them do this.

With Let's Encrypt, and the advent of free SSL/TLS certificates, we have finally emerged from the dark ages of the Web. Now, protecting your website visitors by serving them delicious encrypted HTTPS traffic is finally within the reach of every sysadmin.

Besides the privacy and safety benefits that come with configuring your website to serve HTTPS, there are now marketing benefits, too: Google and other major search engines are now giving TLS-protected websites priority in search results.

What You'll Be Doing

The e-book format makes it easy to follow along and configure your nginx-served website to use SSL/TLS with the help of a free Let's Encrypt certificate. Over the course of just a few hours, you'll:

  • Request your (free) TLS certificate from Let's Encrypt
  • Install the certificate on your nginx webserver
  • Set up automatic renewal for your certificate, so you don't have to remember anything
  • Serve HTTPS traffic to your visitors
  • Configure your site to use HTTP Strict Transport Security

A few extras...

It's more than just a step-by-step tutorial, though -- you'll also get:

  • Background theory on SSL and TLS, so you know what's going on.
  • Details on how to boost the security and performance of your nginx server when serving HTTPS traffic.
  • Links to further reading, so you can dig deeper on the parts that interest you.
  • A "next steps" list of topics which you'll want to look into to solidify your web hosting setup.

29 pages of totally uncensored tutorialinux action, in .mobi, .epub, and PDF.

Updates are free for life -- every time I make changes or add more content, you'll get the new version of the e-book (in all formats) automatically.

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  • You'll get a copy of the first tutorialinux e-book
  • Size532 KB
  • FormatsPDF, .epub, and .mobi
  • Pages29


Let's Encrypt on Linux and FreeBSD with NGINX

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