Lets Encrypt now supports the use of a wildcard certificate.
What this mean is that rather than having to list all your sub domains in the SSL cert, you can now add *.mydomain.com. It also mean that if you add an additional sub domain you wont have to re-apply for new certificate.
So how does it work?
For this guide I will use LE64.exe - it's a Microsoft Windows command line app which fetches the cert for us. We just need to plug in some commands to get what we need.
This setup presumes you have access to your domain registrar and that you know how to add domain records, in this case a TXT record.
Download LE64 from - https://github.com/do-know/Crypt-LE/releases
Extract the zip to a working directory i.e. C:\LE64 and you should see a LE64.exe.
Create a bat file in the same folder, call it le64.bat
In the bat file we need to add the custom attributes or commands. Edit the bold italics below with your details.
This command will create the CSRs, CRT, Key and a PFX cert with a password.
Save the BAT file.
Run the le64.bat (its currently in test mode). A command window will open and after a few lines of text it will stop and ask you to add a DNS record with your Domain Registrar to verify you own the domain name.
Head over to your domain registrar. For this guide I will be using Cloudflare.
Log in and head to DNS or DNS records.
Add the TXT record with the text string from the command line window, should look something like the below when entered.
You now have to wait a few minutes for the Records to propagate the internet. Can be up to 30mins or more in some cases.
To test the propagation, open a CMD prompt and enter the following
nslookup -q=txt _acme-challenge.mymedia.cf
Press enter and if the propagation was successfull it should return the txt value you entered. If it fails to find it, wait a little longer and try again. If the TXT doesnt match, re-enter it again with your Domain Registrar.
If the text records matched, hit enter on the le64.bat window to continue with fetching the certificates.
You should now have FAKE Lets Encrypt certs. Reason they are fake is that this was it test mode. If all worked ok you now have to repeat from No.4 above but adding --live to the end of the BAT file. Like below-
You will need to change the DNS TXT record as it will be different this time. Also once the above has completed and you have the certs, you can delete the TXT record with your domain registrar.
Previously with DNS verification that the above uses, come renewal time you will have to re-verify your DNS. However I have tested it with le64, aslong as the CSR and CSR.key are kept in the same folder and that you renew your certificate with at least 30 days still left on the cert then you wont have to do the DNS verification again.
So far I have documented different approaches to access Emby securely remotely.
This guide uses Cloudflare for DNS records of your domain name, create and maintain your SSL cert and add security to your connection.
So for anyone who doesnt know, Cloudflare acts like a middle man, or more like a big bouncer. Imagine you own a bar and you want security. You hire a bouncer and he lets your customers in but keeps the riff raff out. This is what cloudflare does it adds security to your Server, while allowing authorised people to access your server.
This guide will assume you have Emby Server already setup and working on your LAN.
Getting a Domain Name.
For this to work we need a domain name. You can get a free one from FreeNom or buy your own .com or .co.uk from a registrar such as NameCheap.
For this example I will use Freenom.
Search for the domain name you want. I will use mymedia.cf
Click Checkout. Enter your details. You will then see a button to manage domain, click that. Next click on Management Tools and Nameservers. You will see the below screen. Leave this open for now, we will come back to it.
Head over to Cloudflare Create an account with Cloudflare and then add your Domain name you entered above mymedia.cf. note. when adding your site and starting the scan it might fail due to DNS propagation. Give it 5-15 mins and try again.
Once your Domain Name appears in Cloudflare you can click 'Continue Setup' and you will see the page below.
Create an 'A Record'
Name = emby
Value = your WAN IP
Status = make sure its an Orange cloud
Select Free Plan
You will now be given Nameservers. Copy the 2 name servers from Cloudflare and enter them into FreeNom. If FreeNom has 4 delete all of them and only enter the 2 from cloudflare. Should look something like the below image.
It will take some time for DNS propagation before the Nameservers change to Cloudflare. In this time lets setup Emby Server and Port Forwarding on your router.
Go to your Emby Server and Dashboard Manager > Advanced.
Change your Public HTTP port to 80 and HTTPS port to 443. Enter your new domain name. I get emby.mymedia.cf from the CloudFlare DNS page. Emby was the name of the DNS record, so the full record is emby.mymedia.cf.
Save and Restart Emby.
Log into your router. All routers are different. Find the section to port forward and create a new rule.
Forward External port 443 to internal port 8920 and IP address of your Emby Server. You can also forward 80 to 8096, however this will mean users can connect insecurely to your Emby server.
Head back to CloudFlare and click 'Recheck Nameservers' if successfull you will see a green bar, and Cloudflare Active.
We now need to create a SSL cert for Cloudflare to connect to your Server Securely. On Cloudflare go to 'Crypto', and then 'Origin Certificates'.
Click Create Certificate, on the next screen leave everything default and click next.
You will now be given 2 boxes, A Certificate code and Private Key code.
Copy both of them into separate notepads and Save both. Call them cert.pem and private.key respectively
Click convert and you should end up with a PFX certificate.
Head back to Emby Server > Dashboard > Advanced.
Custom SSL certificate Path = your PFX file
Certificate Password = the one used above "what ever you want"
Save and Restart Emby
Head back to Cloudflare > Crypto Tab
You now need to change SSL from Flexible to Full.
(This means users connect to Cloudflare [uses cloudflare cert] Then Cloudflare connects to your emby server using the Cert we just created). Thus A Full SSL Path from user to server.
go to https://emby.mymedia.cf and enjoy your movies.
On Cloudflare > Crypto
You can enable 'Always use HTTPS' and 'Automatic HTTPS Rewrites'. Anyone trying to browse to HTTP will be forwarded to HTTPS.
On Cloudflare > Page Rules
Add the following rules to cache your images.
If you have a DHCP WAN IP then you will also need to do some additional steps so that Cloudflare forwards to your IP even if it changes. For this you need to use DNS-O-Matic, a Guide can be found HERE.
--domains "mydomain.com,emby.mydomain.com" (list all your domains you want the cert to cover - i think max is 50~)
--path E:\NGINX\html.well-known\acme-challenge (change E:\NGINX to your NGINX locaiton, keeping the html.well-known....
when you hit enter it will test your setup for the correct files and config, it basically gets a fake certificate. if this completes with no errors you now need to add the argument --live to the end of the script above, like so
hit enter and it should go off an fetch your real domain.csr account.key and domain.crt and domain.key. these will be downloaded into the le64 folder. Keep the csr and account.key safe, you will need these for renewal.
Now you have all this setup you can re-run the above le64.exe script come renew and its all done.
If like me you are running a Unifi system at home then you will probably want to connect to the controller via HTTPS. This also applies to the Guest Portal, providing them with a Trusted Certificate and not a self signed one.
This guide is for machines running Windows, but has some similarities for other OS.
Unifi Controller installed and running either by a service or the app
A Trusted Certificate and private.key
If you havent already done so, check out my post on how to get a certificate for free Easy Let's Encrypt Certificate
Also you can find out how to install and configure a Unifi Controller here. (Coming Soon!)
Step 1 - Key Store Explorer
Head over to Keystore Explorer and download the program and install it. This is used to import our certificates to the keystore unifi uses.
Step 2 - Creating a PKCS #12
If you are familiar with creating a PKCS #12 certificate then please create one with your unifi controllers domain name and the guest portals domain name with the password of aircontrolenterprise.
If you arent familiar with creating a PKCS #12 file, see below.
Step 3 - Importing the Certificates
Find the location of the Unifi Controller directory. On Windows the default directory is
C:\Users\%USER NAME%\Ubiquiti UniFi
In the folder 'data' there is a file called keystore. Open the keystore file with key store explorer.
The password is aircontrolenterprise
You should now see the below
Select the unifi key in keystore explorer then click on 'tools' and import key pair and choose 'PKCS #12'.
Decryption password is aircontrolenterprise
Enter the alias 'unifi' in lower case
If it asks to overwrite click 'YES'
Save the Keystore file.
Finally restart your unifi controller and it should now have a working certificate!
This guide assumes you have either setup a DDNS or have an A record setup to point your Domain Name to your WAN IP. If you dont have this setup go here.
Step 1 - Port Forwarding
Every router is different and rather than try to describe how to do this on all the different brands I will simplify it so it is more relevant to all routers.
Log into your router
Head over to port forwarding
Create a new rule to forward port 443 and port 80 to the machine that NGINX will
be running on.
Step 2 - Installing NGINX
Head over to NGINX-Win and download the latest version of NGINX for Windows. As of writing this guide the latest version is 22.214.171.124 Violet.
Extract the .zip folder somewhere easy to find. for my example I will extract it to C:\NGINX\
Open up the config folder C:\NGINX\config
Open up notepad (I recommend Notepad++) and copy the following into it.
This is the location of our cert.pem and private.key. I have them located in my NGINX folder in the following location C:\NGINX\config\SSL To find out how to create the Certs please use the guide Easy Let's Encrypt Certificates At the bottom it describes how to create .pem certs.
The location block tells NGINX what to do when it received data and where to forward it to. It is also required for web sockets to work.
Edit the proxy_pass and point it to the location of your Emby Server. If it is running on the same machine as NGINX you can leave it as http://127.0.0.1:8096. If its running on another machine you will need to know the IP. http://192.168.1.10:8096 etc.
Save the notepad as nginx.config in the following location
Step 3 - Set NGINX as a Windows Service
To get NGINX to start with Windows we need to donwload an application called NSSM (Non-sucking service manager).
Download it and extract it. You will have a choice to use win32 or win64 version. Choice the version that relates to your Windows installation.
Copy the nssm.exe to C:\Windows\System32
Open up a command prompt (Run as administrator)
type the following
nssm install NGINX
It will now display this
Fill in the Path to the NGINX.exe and the Startup Directory as above.
Open up Service.msc and find the NGINX Service we just installed.
Right click and Start.
To Test, we can navigate to emby.mysite.com and it should bring up your Emby Server!
If you have any problems drop a comment below. I will also be creating a Troubleshooting NGINX post soon.
So you run a website or services and at the moment they are accessible over HTTP (port 80). However you want a secure connection and a nice green padlock to be displayed in your web browser. In that case you need to create a HTTPS (port 443) connection which requires the webpage/service and the user to communicate over a encrypted connection using secure protocols such as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).
Normally you would have to pay a fee to get a certificate and pay a yearly fee. However Let's Encrypt are dishing out free certificates with the only catch being they are valid for 90 days. The cert will need to be renewed every 90 days. I tend to renew with at least 15-20 days left before expiry just incase I have any issues with the new cert and it gives me time to install and test it.
Having your own Domain Name. My example *.mysite.com
Access to your Domain Registrars DNS settings
Step 1 - Generate the cert.
Head over to ZeroSSL and click on Online Tools and free SSL Certificate Wizard
Enter the details it asks for.
In the Domain box enter all the domains and subdomains you require the certificate to cover separated by a space. Example:-
mysite.com blog.mysite.com test.mysite.com
Accept both the TOS and SA and change the verification from HTTP to DNS.
Click next and it will generate a CSR key. Copy the CSR and save it as you will need this when it comes time to renew.
Click next again and it will generate an account key (RSA PRIVATE KEY). Again Copy and save the private key, we will need it to renew.
We should now see the Verification screen like below.
Step 2 - DNS Verification.
For this step we need to prove to ZeroSSL that we own the domain name we are trying to create the cert for.
Head over to your domain registrar. For this example I will user namecheap.com
Login and head over to DNS or Advanced DNS. We need to create a TXT Record for each of our domains and subdomains. Like in the example below. Set TTL (Time to Live) to 1min or the lowest setting.
IMPORTANT - We should now leave it 15mins to allow the TXT Records we created above to propagate through the internet. If you click 'Next' on the ZeroSSL page too soon then it will fail to find the TXT Records. To test to see whether the Records have updated you can run a command prompt on your PC and type
nslookup -q=TXT _acme-challenge.blog.mysite.com
It should reply with the TXT Record Value. If it replies with:-
Eventually you can click 'Next' and it should take you to your Certificates.
They are available to download on the right or you can copy and paste the keys.
The Certificate includes 2 parts, you can see this from the 2 sections
Your Domain Certificate
Your Certificate Authority
The first part is your Certificate for the domain/subdomain you listed The second Part is the Issuing Authorities Certificate or CA Root you listed. You can either keep these together as 1 certificate (ca_bundle.crt) or split them into 2, (cert.crt) and (ca_root.crt).
Finally the second box is your Private key. Save this key as private.key
Congratulations you now have your own Certificate signed by Let's Encrypt.
Step 3 - Certificate Formats (Optional)
crt to pem
We currently have the certificates in a .crt format. To create a .pem file we need to include the cert.crt and ca_root.crt into one file. You can use notepad to do this.
Copy both your cert and the ca_root into notepad like below.
Your Domain Certificate
Your Certificate Authority
and then save the file as cert.pem. Simple as that!
crt to pfx
Creating a .pfx certificate isnt as simple as a pem. A pfx file contains your cert, the CA root cert and your private.key into one file. It also usually contains a password to open/import and export.
If you have access to OpenSSL you can use the command below