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dehydrated Donate

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 openssl 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
  • and lots more..

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 -c option).

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. /etc/dehydrated/config and edit it to fit your needs.


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

Default command: help

 --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

 --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 certificate renewal even if it is not due to expire within 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|tls-alpn-01 Which challenge should be used? Currently http-01, dns-01, and tls-alpn-01 are supported
 --algo (-a) rsa|prime256v1|secp384r1 Which public key algorithm should be used? Supported: rsa, prime256v1 and secp384r1


Dehydrated has an official IRC-channel #dehydrated on that can be used for general discussion and suggestions.

The channel can also be accessed with Matrix using the official bridge at