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How To Use the AcmeDns Plugin

This plugin works against acme-dns which is limited DNS server implementation designed specifically to handle DNS challenges for the ACME protocol. It will also work against acme-dns compatible APIs such as Certify DNS. It is useful when the DNS provider for your domain doesn't have a supported plugin or security policies/limitations in your environment don't allow you to use a supported plugin. Initial certificate generation requires some manual steps, but renewals can be automated just like other plugins.


While there is a publicly accessible acme-dns instance that you can use to test with at, it is not recommended for production use. Instead, you should run your own instance using the install instructions on the project page or sign up for a commercial service such as Certify DNS.

Once you have your instance running, it needs to be accessible via HTTPS to your client and via standard DNS (port 53) to ACME servers on the Internet.

Using the Plugin

If your acme-dns instance is using the default configuration running with TLS on port 443, the only required parameter for the plugin is ACMEServer which is the hostname of your instance. If you are not using TLS, using an alternate port, or require additional uri path segments, you will need to specify the full URI using ACMEUri instead.

It's possible to configure acme-dns to require additonal Basic authentication which is also the case with some commercial acme-dns implementations. If that is true for your instance, you may pass the credentials using ACMECredential or embedded within the ACMEUri value.


It is recommended to use ACMECredential instead of embedding the credentials in the ACMEUri parameter because the URI value is not encrypted when saved to disk.

There is also an optional ACMEAllowFrom parameter which takes an array of strings with networks specified in CIDR notation. If included, these networks will be the only ones that can send TXT record updates to the server for the registrations that get created as part of the certificate request. In some environments, it may make more sense to control network access via standard firewalls.

This plugin is ultimately using CNAME aliases for DNS challenges under the hood. The first time you use it, you will be prompted to create the necessary CNAME records for each new name included in a cert.

PS C:\> New-PACertificate -Plugin AcmeDns -PluginArgs @{ACMEServer=''}

Please create the following CNAME records:
------------------------------------------ ->

Press any key to continue.:

For each CNAME in the list, you need to create the associated record on your DNS server before continuing. Assuming the records get created properly, the process should complete successfully. Future renewals will complete without additional prompting as long as no new names are added to the cert.

(Advanced) Pre-registration and CNAME creation

Some organizations may want to pre-create the acme-dns registrations and add the necessary CNAME records to their DNS infrastructure prior to working with Posh-ACME. In this case, you can avoid the first-run interactive prompts by passing the necessary registration object(s) in a hashtable using the ACMERegistration parameter.

For example, a cert that contains and will have two acme-dns registrations created (one for each name). Each registration contains four values: subdomain, username, password, and full domain. Creating the registration objects and creating the certificate might look something like this:

$reg = @{
    '' = @(
        # the array order of these values is important
        '9aa5ce59-635e-440c-b2ca-12ee3503ddee'                        # subdomain
        '1b5cce3b-255d-4ffb-a81f-a9e27167ac7a'                        # username
        'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'                         # password
        ''    # full domain
    '' = @(

$pArgs = @{
    ACMEServer = ''
    ACMERegistration = $reg

New-PACertificate, -Plugin AcmeDns -PluginArgs $pArgs