Getting started

There are two “modes” how this role can be run:

  • Scheduler mode: Role will request new certificate based on an existing certificate request, replace the old certificate and restart the affected service. Ansible should be run with dedicated minimally privileged user account (by default acmetiny).
  • Setup mode: Role will run the initial setup for a new domain certificate such as create required directories, generate RSA key and certificate request. Further it will make sure that a dedicated user acount for the scheduler mode is created and install the necessary sudo rules for the service restart. Role has to be run with root privileges.


Let’s Encrypt Account Key

Before the role can be run to send certificate requests an account key has to be generated. This can be done with the official Certbot client. Make sure the key is converted into the correct format for acme-tiny as described in Use existing Let’s Encrypt key.

Eventually store the account key in /etc/ssl/acme-tiny/account.key.

Web Server Configuration

When requesting the certificate acme-tiny will place a challenge file in /var/www/acme-challenges which has to be accessible through http://<fqdn>/.well-known/acme-challenge for every domain requested in the certificate. Make sure to point the DNS entry of the domain name configured onto the system running this role and to add a corresponding definition in your Web server configuration.

The following snippets are meant as an example. Depending on the Web server configuration they need to be slightly adjusted.

Apache 2

Alias /.well-known/acme-challenge/ /var/www/acme-challenges/
<LocationMatch "/.well-known/acme-challenge/*">
    Header set Content-Type "text/plain"


location /.well-known/acme-challenge {
    alias /var/www/acme-challenges;

    location ~ /.well-known/acme-challenge/(.*) {
        default_type text/plain;


alias.url += (
    "/.well-known/acme-challenge/" => "/var/www/acme-challenges/",

Example playbook

A minimal playbook which would run the ganto.acme_tiny role to request a SSL certificate would looke like this:


- name: "Request and setup Let's encrypt SSL certificate"
  hosts: acme_tiny
  gather_facts: False

    - ganto.acme_tiny

Example inventory

When using the example playbook the host to run the role has to be added to the [acme_tiny] host group in the Ansible inventory:


Obviously, the Default role variables might not be suitable for everybody. Especially the acme_tiny__domain variable needs to be defined individually. This can be done via Ansible host variables in /etc/ansible/host_vars/<hostname>/acme_tiny.yml.

If there are multiple certificates that should be managed with this Ansible role, the individual configurations could be defined in separate “domain” files (e.g. /etc/ansible/vars/<domain>.yml) and then passed with the Ansible --extra-vars argument to the playbook execution.

Such a variable file would look like this:

# acme_tiny role configuration for:

acme_tiny__domain: [ '', '' ]
acme_tiny__service: 'nginx'