Files to automate the deploy of letsencrypt certificates to Zimbra
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VojtechMyslivec readme: Use sudo with login as zimbra user
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Helped-by: Antonio Prado <>
Latest commit 9776d84 Oct 21, 2018


Files to automate the deploy of letsencrypt certificates to Zimbra.

You will probably find these files usefull when you want to move your self-signed Zimbra certificate to the letsencrypt-signed one and automate the renewal of the certificate.

Start with Setup manual below and help message of the script -h`

Enjoy open-source and encryption!


  • Working installation of Zimbra Collaboration Suite
  • certbot utility
  • openssl cli tool
  • sudo privilege to run certbot with zimbra user

What the scripts do

The script will perform following steps:

  1. Check installed Zimbra TLS certificate
    • The script exits if the cert is present and will not expire soon
    • See -d and -f options
  2. Generate new Zimbra private key if it is missing
  3. Generate signing request with given domain names
  4. Stop Zimbra web server
  5. Run certbot (in standalone mode) and use generated request
  6. Start Zimbra web server
  7. Check issued certificate and install it for Zimbra
  8. Restart zimbra services

See the help message of the script (-h), example config file (letsencrypt-zimbra.cfg.example) and the code itself for more details.

Setup manual

  1. Install the certbot

    • Please follow the official instructions for your distribution

    • For example on Ubuntu xenial:

      1. Add certbot ppa repository:

        apt-get install software-properties-common
        add-apt-repository ppa:certbot/certbot
        apt-get update
      2. Install certbot package

        apt-get install certbot
    • Alternatively, you can clone the certbot from Github:

      git clone /opt/certbot
  2. Clone this repository

    git clone /opt/letsencrypt-zimbra
  3. Create and edit config file

    • Copy the example file

      cp /opt/letsencrypt-zimbra/letsencrypt-zimbra.cfg{.example,}
    • Configure your e-mail and server common names in /opt/letsencrypt-zimbra/letsencrypt-zimbra.cfg

  4. Add sudo privileges to 'zimbra' user to run certbot

    • Copy prepared sudoers config:

      cp configs/sudoers.conf /etc/sudoers.d/zimbra_certbot
    • Test the sudo privilege for 'zimbra' user (no password should be needed)

      sudo -Hu zimbra sudo /usr/bin/certbot -h
  5. Run the script to obtain certificate

    sudo -Hiu zimbra /opt/letsencrypt-zimbra/ -v
    • Note: add the -t option to run a test (see below)
  6. Configure the cron job

    cp configs/cron.conf /etc/cron.d/letsencrypt-zimbra
    • Review the /etc/cron.d/letsencrypt-zimbra if it meets your system requirements

Test the configuration and staging environment

Let's Encrypt authority provides rate limits. The best practice is to test the configuration and script on staging environment, where rate limits are much more benevolent. Certificates issued by this staging environment are signed with Fake LE ROOT CA and so they are not trusted.

To use this environment, use -t option when running Also a verbose option -v is recommended to see information messages what the script is doing.

When the script successfully deployed a staging cert, run the script again with -f to force renew the cert with Let's Encrypt trusted CA.

Some links