Confession Time

2 minute read

A failure story

Last week, I received an email from Let’s Encrypt reminding me to renew my certificates. I forgot to renew it and the certificate expired. Now I can’t send or receive any emails. If you send me email in the last week and wonder why I didn’t respond, this is the reason.

Anyway, I thought it will be easy to fix. Just run certbot again and let him do the job, right? NOPE. It is not that easy. It is just giving me errors with some success messages. If I was not so clueless about what the heck I am doing, I could fix the error. But I don’t know anything about how SSL works and it is a shame.

I don’t even know the subject enough to Google it. I feel like I am the only guy in the planet whose certificate is expired. Seriously, how tf I can’t find a solution to a such common problem? There was a saying like, “If you can’t find something on the internet, there is a high chance that you are being stupid”. It was not exactly like this but I can’t find the original quote either. Argghh…

If you know the original quote, email me… No, do not email because it does not work. F%ck this thing. F*%k everything. I deserved this. Do not help. If I can’t fix this by myself, I should not call myself computer engineer. I am out.


The problem is fixed. One of my colleagues told me to reboot the server so that it will (possibly) trigger a script to get a new certificate. I did not think it would work because I already try to get a new certificate manually running certbot renew. And yeah, it didn’t change anything but gave me courage to try other dead simple solutions.

  • One of them was adding missing MX records for my domain. certbot was telling me that it can’t find any A or AAAA records for www.mail. I didn’t think this is related with my problem because how would I receive emails before then? Anyway, I added the records and the errors are gone. It was only giving me success messages now. Everything seemed to be fine. But I still could not connect to my mail account.

  • And here is the solution: sudo systemctl restart dovecot. Kill me. I am guessing I had to restart the mail service because certificate has changed and it had to pick up the new one. I bet if I had run this command right after certbot renew I would not face any issues. The error messages caused by missing mx records were not related with this problem but I was confused by them and I thought something wrong with my certificates.

Any way, I am happy that it is finally fixed. Did I learn something from this? Not much. But yeah, sometimes all you need is a simple restart :D