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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where is my config? Where is my cert?

Unless you have changed the default, all Posh-ACME config is in your user profile depending on the OS:

  • Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Posh-ACME
  • Linux: $HOME/.config/Posh-ACME
  • MacOS: $HOME/Library/Preferences/Posh-ACME

The full paths to all cert files for the current order is in the detailed output of Get-PACertificate.

Get-PACertificate | Format-List

How Do I Upgrade From 3.x to 4.x?

If your certificate renewals are using Submit-Renewal, no changes should be necessary in order to upgrade from 3.x to 4.0 unless you were using the -NewKey parameter which has been removed. Orders can now be configured to always generate a new private key using Set-PAOrder -AlwaysNewKey. For example, you can set the flag for all orders in an account like this:

Get-PAOrder -List | Set-PAOrder -AlwaysNewKey

For custom scripts that use more of the module's functions be aware of the following changes:

  • Invoke-HttpChallengeListener is deprecated and may be removed in a future release. Users should migrate to the WebSelfHost plugin.
  • Publish/Unpublish/Save-DnsChallenge functions have been renamed to Publish/Unpublish/Save-Challenge.
  • All references to the DnsPlugin parameter should be replaced with Plugin.
  • NewKey has been removed from Submit-Renewal.
  • NewKey/NewCertKey have been replaced by AlwaysNewKey in New-PACertificate and New-PAOrder.
  • AlwaysNewKey has been added to Set-PAOrder.
  • DnsPlugin, PluginArgs, DnsAlias, DnsSleep, ValidationTimeout and Account parameters have been removed from Submit-ChallengeValidation. The account associated with the order must be the currently active account. The rest of the parameters are read directly from the order object and can be modified in advance with Set-PAOrder if necessary.
  • The NoPrefix switch in Publish/Unpublish-Challenge has been replaced with a DnsAlias parameter that will override the Domain parameter if specified. "_acme-challenge." will not be automatically added to DnsAlias values. For example:
# Old 3.x method to publish an alias
Publish-DnsChallenge -Domain -NoPrefix -DnsPlugin MyPlugin -Account (Get-PAAccount) -Token xxxx -PluginArgs $pArgs

# New 4.x method to publish an alias
Publish-DnsChallenge -Domain -DnsAlias -Plugin MyPlugin -Account (Get-PAAccount) -Token xxxx -PluginArgs $pArgs

If your workflow relied on new orders automatically using the plugin args from previously configured orders, that no longer works and you will have to explicitly set the -PluginArgs parameter for each new order. However, you can use Get-PAPluginArgs to make it easier. For example:

# Old 3.x method where new order uses old plugin args automatically
New-PACertificate -Plugin MyPlugin -PluginArgs @{MyArg='xxxx'}
New-PACertificate -Plugin MyPlugin

# New 4.x method
New-PACertificate -Plugin MyPlugin -PluginArgs @{MyArg='xxxx'}
$pArgs = Get-PAPluginArgs
New-PACertificate -Plugin MyPlugin -PluginArgs $pArgs

How have Plugins changed in 4.x?

See the Migrating DNS Plugins from 3x to 4x section of the plugin development guide.

Does Posh-ACME work cross platform on PowerShell Core?

Yes as of 2.2.0!...with a few caveats.

The -Install parameter in New-PACertificate is not supported on non-Windows platforms and will throw an error if used because there's no certificate store equivalent to install to.

On non-Windows OSes, [securestring] and [pscredential] plugins are not encrypted on disk by default because the encryption APIs used on Windows aren't available. However, you can enable AES based encryption that is also portable between OSes on a per-account level. This can be done during account creation or after the fact and you can switch between native and AES encryption at any time as in the following examples:

# enable AES encryption during account creation
New-PAAccount -AcceptTOS -Contact -UseAltPluginEncryption

# enable AES encryption on an existing account
Set-PAAccount -UseAltPluginEncryption

# switch back to OS-native encryption on an existing account
Set-PAAccount -UseAltPluginEncryption:$false

Key not valid for use in specified state

This can happen on Windows if you try to copy the Posh-ACME profile folder to a different Windows computer or a different user's profile on the same computer. The underlying APIs used to encrypt plugin parameters using SecureString and PSCredential objects are tied to both the current computer and user and are not portable. However, you can use the Set-PAAccount -UseAltPluginEncryption to change the encryption used for the account to a portable AES based method and then copy the profile.

Export-PluginArgs : Access is denied

This may happen on Windows if you're trying to run Posh-ACME over a remote or non-interactive session. By default, Posh-ACME encrypts "secure" plugin parameters before saving them to disk Windows' DPAPI subsystem. This has a known limitation that requires the current user's profile to be loaded which doesn't always happen in remote or non-interactive sessions.

If you run into this problem, try running Set-PAAccount -UseAltPluginEncryption to use an alternative encryption option that doesn't rely on DPAPI.

The underlying connection was closed: Cloud not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel.

This shouldn't ever happen when using a publicly trusted certificate authority such as Let's Encrypt. If it does, an attacker or malware might be trying to MitM your connection.

However if you're doing development against a test ACME server like Pebble or a private instance of Boulder, this is normal because the server is likely using a self-signed certificate. You can work around the problem by adding the -SkipCertificateCheck parameter to Set-PAServer.

If the error seems to originate from one of the plugins, submit an issue and we can figure it out.

Access is denied

The most common reason this error shows up is that you used the -Install parameter with New-PACertificate and you're not running PowerShell as an elevated process (Run as Administrator). Both the original call to New-PACertificate and any subsequent calls to Submit-Renewal need to run elevated for the module to install the resulting certificate.

Refer to sub-problems for more information.

This is generally part of a longer error message and most often shows up when you're trying to create a certificate with multiple names. It means that the error body has additional detail that can help identify what went wrong. You can access the sub-problem data from the Exception object like this.

# If you haven't caught the error in a try/catch block, it should be in the first index in the error object
$Error[0].Exception.Data.subproblems | Format-List

# If you did catch the error, it will be in the $_ object
catch {
    $_.Exception.Data.subproblems | Format-List