For the past few days, I have been getting an email that I hadn't seen before.  It was from Let's Encrypt telling me that my SSL certificate needed renewed.  I've been using Let's Encrypt for all of my pro-bono and personal websites for about a year now, and never have had an issue with renewing certs.  I thought that perhaps, I had done something to my crontab, and removed the autoupdate.

So, on to the investigation.  I was right, I had setup auto renew in my crontab with a simple certbot renew command.  It had been working flawlessly every 90 days without failure until now.  This problem seems to be happening to a lot of folks running Amazon Linux, but the solution doesn't appear to be very widely posted.  So I am posting it here to help someone save the 2 days of banging their head on their desk that I just went through.  

Don't spend days working through re-establishing links to crypto libraries, hand rolling updates, etc.  That ultimately doesn't work, and just isn't feasible.  Instead, move over to using PIP to control the installation.  I wasn't even aware that PIP was a possibility until today.  


So for those of you who are seeing certbot auto renew fail on your Amazon Linux AMI images, perform the following.

# rm -rf /opt/*

# pip install -U certbot

# certbot renew --debug

That should do it!  Dont' forget to update your crontab!