Setting up Let's Encrypt on Amazon Linux 2 in AWS

Set up a Let's encrypt certificate on an EC2 instance running Amazon Linux 2 and renew it automatically with AWS Route 53 DNS validation.

Setting up Let's Encrypt on Amazon Linux 2 in AWS

This blog will be useful for you if you have a server on AWS running Amazon Linux 2 which your domain managed by AWS Route 53

Install Certbot

To install Certbot in Amazon Linux 2, follow the below steps

Login to server and run the following commands to install certbot and the Route 53 plugin

sudo yum install certbot python2-certbot-dns-route53 -y

If you see the following error,

Loaded plugins: extras_suggestions, langpacks, priorities, update-motd
No package certbot available.

then you have to install the epel repo with the following command

sudo amazon-linux-extras install epel

Setup server IAM Permissions

While using the Route 53 plugin, it uses AWS Python SDK module boto3 to make the necessary changes in the Route 53 hosted zone for DNS validation. So that requires the server to have permission via the usual methods - access and secret key, environment variables or IAM role

Here we are going to use the IAM role method

For that login to your AWS account and go to the IAM dashboard.

IAM dashboard

Here create a new role for the server. Click on the Create role button to create a new role

Role section of IAM dashboard

In the role creation window that opens up, select EC2 as the trusted entity and click on Next: Permissions button.

Create role window showing the trusted entity selection

We will not be attaching any pre-existing policy, so this section can be ignored. Click the Next: Tags button to move on.

Create role window showing the managed policies to attach - we aren't attaching any

You can specify additional tags here if required. After that, hit Next: Review button to move on the to review section.

Create role window showing the option to add tags - we aren't adding any

In the Review section, enter the name of the role and a description if required and create the role by clicking the Create role button.

Create role window showing the Review section with the option to give a name and description for the role

Now it opens up the created role. Here click on +Add inline policy button. This lets us add an inline policy to the role.

Since we won't be re-using this policy, it is added as an inline policy. If you need to re-use this policy for other servers, you can create a custom policy in the policy section and attach it while you create the role itself.

The role summary page

In the Create policy window, click on the JSON tab and enter the following content. Make sure the replace the YOURHOSTEDZONEID with your actual hosted zone ID for the domain.

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Id": "certbot-dns-route53 policy",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Effect" : "Allow",
            "Action" : [
            "Resource" : [
Policy sample from

Click on Review policy button to review the created policy.

Create policy window showing the policy entered as JSON format in the JSON tab

Enter a suitable name for the policy and click Create policy.

Review policy section showing the field to enter the name of the policy, and permissions

Now you'll be able to see the inline policy in the role summary page.

Generate the SSL certificate

Login to the server and run the following command to generate the SSL ceritificate

sudo certbot certonly -d * --dns-route53

You can also put the following crontab entry to renew the certificate every 60 days

sudo crontab -e
0 0 1 */2 * certbot renew --dns-route53