Let's Encrypt-compatible implementation of ACME protocol for node.js
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README.md

ACME Suite for node.js

Build Status

Intro

Let's Encrypt-compatible implementation of the Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) protocol proposed by: draft-ietf-acme-acme-01

Benefits

  • Easy to use CLI and API
  • Leaves web server untouched
  • Runnable as unprivileged user

The original Let's Encrypt client and derivations usally try to automatically configure Apache or Nginx. However, this leads to either unnecessary downtime or rather complex fiddling. Therefore, this should be left to dedicated server plugins or scripts.

ACME Suite may provide such scripts in the future, especially for challenges other than http-01, but does not at the moment. Check out the Wiki on Github to learn how to easily prepare Nginx for http-01 challenge and certificate installation.

Features

  • Client API and CLI
  • Account creation and information
  • Certificate signing
  • Domain authorization using http-01 challenge
  • Local or remote use
  • Does not require root privileges

Planned

  • Server API and CLI
  • Account recovery
  • Certificate revocation
  • Domain authorization using tls-sni-01 or proofOfPossession-01 challenge

Components

  • AcmeClient - Automated Certificate Management Environment client API
  • AcmeHelper - ACME command line interface helper API
  • JWebClient - JSON Web Token HTTPS client API used with ACME client
  • acme-client-cli - Command line interface using ACME client API

Requirements

Requires working openssl command to generate account or certificate key as well as the certificate signing request (CSR). OpenSSL must be properly configured. The repository contains a small configuration file for OpenSSL if needed. Its path can be set as OPENSSL_CONF and also works on Windows.

Setup

Make sure openssl is working. Any recent version should be OK.

acme-client-cli will automatically generate a new account key for you. You can also generate your own:

openssl genrsa 4096 > account.key

Challenge data will be written to the .well-known directory in the working directory upon domain authorization. This directory must be published on the web server for the http-01 challenge to complete.

Signed certificates and associated private keys will be saved in the working directory. Filenames will correspond to the domain name like this: www.example.com.der and www.example.com.key. In rare cases filenames may not match domain name in order to avoid forbidden characters.

Publishing of challenge data and certificate deployment can be automated using scripts if desired.

Remember that Let's Encrypt provides its staging API for testing purposes. This should be used to test your setup before going productive.

Usage

CLI

Register new account

acme-client -c=reg -e=hostmaster@example.com

Authorize new domain and write challenge data to server web root

acme-client -c=add -d=www.example.com -w=/var/www -y

Authorize new domain and write challenge data to working directory and wait for user to confirm transfer of challenge data to server in order to proceed

acme-client -c=add -d=www.example.com

Create and submit certificate signing request (validity period 90 days)

acme-client -c=csr -d=www.example.com -l=US -n=90 -o="Example Inc."

Get profile info

acme-client -c=info

Parameters:

Action to perform

-c=ACTION - add (authorize domain), csr, info (profile) or reg (register)

Certificate details

-d=DOMAIN, -e=EMAIL, -l=COUNTRY, -n=DAYSVALID -o=ORGANIZATION

Configuration

-k=FILE - Specifiy account key file name, default is ./account.key
-r=BIT - RSA key size, default is 4096 (some devices may only support 2048)
-u=URL - ACME URL, e.g. https://api.example.com
-w=PATH - Path where .well-known directory shall be created
-y - Useful if acme client and web server are running on the same machine

Help

-h - Display a help with explanation of parameters like this

Verbose mode

-v - Use this to get insight about what is sent and received

API

Documentation of API can be found on Github.

New instance

var JWebClient = require('acme-suite').JWebClient;
var AcmeClient = require('acme-suite').AcmeClient;
var acme_client = new AcmeClient(
    "https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory",
    new JWebClient()
);

Configuration

acme_client.days_valid = DAYSVALID; // validity period in days
acme_client.defaultRsaKeySize = BIT; // RSA key size
acme_client.emailOverride = EMAIL; // email addresss to use
acme_client.webroot = PATH; // path to server web root
acme_client.withInteraction = YES; // avoid user interaction

Get profile info and print ID

acme_client.getProfile(function (profile) {
	process.stdout.write("User ID: " + profile["id"] + "\n");
});

Create and submit certificate signing request

acme_client.requestCertificate(domain, organization, country,
function (success) {
	process.stdout.write("Success: " + success);
});

Security considerations

  • acme-client should be run as non-priviledged user
  • This user must have
    • write permissions for working directory
    • write permissions for .well-known directory under web root
    • read permissions for existing account.key
    • execute permissions for openssl
  • RSA key size should not be lower than 2048 bit
  • Verbose mode may output sensitive data

License

This software is free and open source. See LICENSE for details.