Welcome to certbot-dns-rfc2136’s documentation!

The dns_rfc2136 plugin automates the process of completing a dns-01 challenge (DNS01) by creating, and subsequently removing, TXT records using RFC 2136 Dynamic Updates.

Note

The plugin is not installed by default. It can be installed by heading to certbot.eff.org, choosing your system and selecting the Wildcard tab.

Named Arguments

--dns-rfc2136-credentials

RFC 2136 credentials INI file. (Required)

--dns-rfc2136-propagation-seconds

The number of seconds to wait for DNS to propagate before asking the ACME server to verify the DNS record. (Default: 60)

Credentials

Use of this plugin requires a configuration file containing the target DNS server and optional port that supports RFC 2136 Dynamic Updates, the name of the TSIG key, the TSIG key secret itself and the algorithm used if it’s different to HMAC-MD5.

Example credentials file:
# Target DNS server (IPv4 or IPv6 address, not a hostname)
dns_rfc2136_server = 192.0.2.1
# Target DNS port
dns_rfc2136_port = 53
# TSIG key name
dns_rfc2136_name = keyname.
# TSIG key secret
dns_rfc2136_secret = 4q4wM/2I180UXoMyN4INVhJNi8V9BCV+jMw2mXgZw/CSuxUT8C7NKKFs AmKd7ak51vWKgSl12ib86oQRPkpDjg==
# TSIG key algorithm
dns_rfc2136_algorithm = HMAC-SHA512

The path to this file can be provided interactively or using the --dns-rfc2136-credentials command-line argument. Certbot records the path to this file for use during renewal, but does not store the file’s contents.

Caution

You should protect this TSIG key material as it can be used to potentially add, update, or delete any record in the target DNS server. Users who can read this file can use these credentials to issue arbitrary API calls on your behalf. Users who can cause Certbot to run using these credentials can complete a dns-01 challenge to acquire new certificates or revoke existing certificates for associated domains, even if those domains aren’t being managed by this server.

Certbot will emit a warning if it detects that the credentials file can be accessed by other users on your system. The warning reads “Unsafe permissions on credentials configuration file”, followed by the path to the credentials file. This warning will be emitted each time Certbot uses the credentials file, including for renewal, and cannot be silenced except by addressing the issue (e.g., by using a command like chmod 600 to restrict access to the file).

Examples

To acquire a certificate for example.com
certbot certonly \
  --dns-rfc2136 \
  --dns-rfc2136-credentials ~/.secrets/certbot/rfc2136.ini \
  -d example.com
To acquire a single certificate for both example.com and www.example.com
certbot certonly \
  --dns-rfc2136 \
  --dns-rfc2136-credentials ~/.secrets/certbot/rfc2136.ini \
  -d example.com \
  -d www.example.com
To acquire a certificate for example.com, waiting 30 seconds for DNS propagation
certbot certonly \
  --dns-rfc2136 \
  --dns-rfc2136-credentials ~/.secrets/certbot/rfc2136.ini \
  --dns-rfc2136-propagation-seconds 30 \
  -d example.com

Sample BIND configuration

Here’s a sample BIND configuration for Certbot to use. You will need to generate a new TSIG key, include it in the BIND configuration and grant it permission to issue updates on the target DNS zone.

Generate a new SHA512 TSIG key
dnssec-keygen -a HMAC-SHA512 -b 512 -n HOST keyname.

Note

There are a few tools shipped with BIND that can all generate TSIG keys; dnssec-keygen, rndc-confgen, and ddns-confgen. Try and use the most secure algorithm supported by your DNS server.

Sample BIND configuration
key "keyname." {
  algorithm hmac-sha512;
  secret "4q4wM/2I180UXoMyN4INVhJNi8V9BCV+jMw2mXgZw/CSuxUT8C7NKKFs AmKd7ak51vWKgSl12ib86oQRPkpDjg==";
};

zone "example.com." IN {
  type master;
  file "named.example.com";
  update-policy {
    grant keyname. name _acme-challenge.example.com. txt;
  };
};

Note

This configuration limits the scope of the TSIG key to just be able to add and remove TXT records for one specific host for the purpose of completing the dns-01 challenge. If your version of BIND doesn’t support the update-policy directive, then you can use the less-secure allow-update directive instead. See the BIND documentation for details.

Special considerations for multiple views in BIND

If your BIND configuration leverages multiple views, Certbot may fail with an Unable to determine base domain for _acme-challenge.example.com error. This error occurs when Certbot isn’t able to communicate with an authorative nameserver for the zone, one that answers with the AA (Authorative Answer) flag set in the response.

A common multiple view configuration with two views, external and internal, can cause this error. If the zone is only present in the external view, and the credentials dns_rfc2136_server setting is set (e.g. 127.0.0.1) so the DNS server’s match-clients view option causes the DNS server to route Certbot’s query to the internal view; the internal view doesn’t contain the zone, so the response won’t have the AA flag set.

One solution is to logically place the zone into the view Certbot is sending queries to, with an in-view zone option. The zone will be then visible in both zones with exactly the same content.

Note

Order matters in BIND views, the in-view zone option must refer to a view defined preceeding it, it cannot refer to a view defined later in the configuration file.

Split-view BIND configuration
key "keyname." {
  algorithm hmac-sha512;
  secret "4q4wM/2I180UXoMyN4INVhJNi8V9BCV+jMw2mXgZw/CSuxUT8C7NKKFs AmKd7ak51vWKgSl12ib86oQRPkpDjg==";
};

// adjust internal-addresses to suit your needs
acl internal-address { 127.0.0.0/8; 10.0.0.0/8; 192.168.0.0/16; 172.16.0.0/12; };

view "external" {
  match-clients { !internal-addresses; any; };

  zone "example.com." IN {
    type master;
    file "named.example.com";
    update-policy {
      grant keyname. name _acme-challenge.example.com. txt;
    };
  };
};

view "internal" {
  zone "example.com." IN {
    in-view external;
  };
};

Indices and tables