Configures TLS for the site.

Caddy's default TLS settings are secure. Only change these settings if you have a good reason and understand the implications. The most common use of this directive will be to specify an ACME account email address, change the ACME CA endpoint, or to provide your own certificates.

Compatibility note: Due to its sensitive nature as a security protocol, deliberate adjustments to TLS defaults may be made in new minor or patch releases. Old or broken TLS versions, ciphers, features, etc. may be removed at any time. If your deployment is extremely sensitive to changes, you should explicitly specify those values which must remain constant, and be vigilant about upgrades. In almost every case, we recommend using the default settings.


tls [internal|<email>] | [<cert_file> <key_file>] {
	protocols <min> [<max>]
	ciphers   <cipher_suites...>
	curves    <curves...>
	alpn      <values...>
	load      <paths...>
	ca        <ca_dir_url>
	ca_root   <pem_file>
	dns       <provider_name> [<params...>]
	eab       <key_id> <mac_key>
	client_auth {
		mode                   [request|require|verify_if_given|require_and_verify]
		trusted_ca_cert        <base64_der>
		trusted_ca_cert_file   <filename>
		trusted_leaf_cert      <base64_der>
		trusted_leaf_cert_file <filename>
	issuer <issuer_name> [<params...>]
  • internal means to use Caddy's internal, locally-trusted CA to produce certificates for this site.

  • <email> is the email address to use for the ACME account managing the site's certificates.

  • <cert_file> and <key_file> are the paths to the certificate and private key PEM files. Specifying just one is invalid; specifying both will disable automatic HTTPS.

  • protocols specifies the minimum and maximum protocol versions. Default min: tls1.2. Default max: tls1.3

  • ciphers specifies the list of cipher suite names in descending preference order. Note that cipher suites are not customizable with TLS 1.3. The supported names are (in no particular order here):

    • TLS_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
    • TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
    • TLS_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256
  • curves specifies the list of EC curves to support. Supported values are:

    • x25519
    • secp256r1
    • secp384r1
    • secp521r1
  • alpn is the list of values to advertise in the ALPN extension of the TLS handshake.

  • load specifies a list of folders from which to load PEM files that are certificate+key bundles.

  • ca changes the ACME CA endpoint. This is most often used to use Let's Encrypt's staging endpoint or an internal ACME server. (To change this value for the whole Caddyfile, use the acme_ca global option instead.)

  • ca_root specifies a PEM file that contains a trusted root certificate for the ACME CA endpoint, if not in the system trust store.

  • dns enables the DNS challenge using the specified provider plugin, which must be plugged in from one of the caddy-dns repositories. Each provider plugin may have their own syntax following their name; refer to their docs for details. Maintaining support for each DNS provider is a community effort. Learn how to enable the DNS challenge for your provider at our wiki.

  • eab configures ACME external account binding (EAB) for this site, using the key ID and MAC key provided by your CA.

  • on_demand enables on-demand TLS for the hostnames given in the site block's address(es).

  • client_auth enables and configures TLS client authentication:

    • mode is the mode for authenticating the client. Allowed values are:
      Mode Description
      request Ask clients for a certificate, but allow even if there isn't one; do not verify it
      require Require clients to present a certificate, but do not verify it
      verify_if_given Ask clients for a certificate; allow even if there isn't one, but verify it if there is
      require_and_verify Require clients to present a valid certificate that is verified

    Default: require_and_verify if any trusted_ca_cert or trusted_leaf_cert are provided; otherwise, require.

    • trusted_ca_cert is a base64 DER-encoded CA certificate against which to validate client certificates. Client certificates which are not signed by any of these CAs will be rejected.
    • trusted_ca_cert_file is a base64 DER-encoded CA certificate file against which to validate client certificates. Client certificates which are not signed by any of these CAs will be rejected.
    • trusted_leaf_cert is a base64 DER-encoded client leaf certificate to accept. Client certificates which are not signed by any of these CAs will be rejected.
    • trusted_leaf_cert_file is a base64 DER-encoded CA certificate file against which to validate client certificates. Client certificates which are not signed by any of these CAs will be rejected.

    Multiple trusted_* directives may be specified as a way to chain multiple CA or leaf certificates.

  • issuer configures a custom certificate issuer, or a source from which to obtain certificates. Which issuer is used and the options that follow in this segment depend on the issuer modules that are available (see below for the standard issuers). Some of the other subdirectives such as ca and dns are actually shortcuts for configuring the acme issuer (and this subdirective was added later), so specifying this directive and some of the others is confusing and thus prohibited.


These issuers come standard with the tls directive:


Obtains certificates using the ACME protocol.

... acme {
	dir      <directory_url>
	test_dir <test_directory_url>
	email    <email>
	timeout  <duration>
	alt_http_port    <port>
	alt_tlsalpn_port <port>
	eab <key_id> <mac_key>
	trusted_roots <pem_files...>
	dns <provider_name> [<options>]
	resolvers <dns_servers...>
  • dir is the URL to the ACME CA's directory. Default:
  • test_dir is an optional fallback directory to use when retrying challenges; if all challenges fail, this endpoint will be used during retries; useful if a CA has a staging endpoint where you want to avoid rate limits on their production endpoint. Default:
  • email is the ACME account contact email address.
  • timeout is how long to wait before timing out an ACME operation.
  • disable_http_challenge will disable the HTTP challenge.
  • disable_tlsalpn_challenge will disable the TLS-ALPN challenge.
  • alt_http_port is an alternate port on which to serve the HTTP challenge; it has to happen on port 80 so you must forward packets to this alternate port.
  • alt_tlsalpn_port is an alternate port on which to serve the TLS-ALPN challenge; it has to happen on port 443 so you must forward packets to this alternate port.
  • eab specifies an External Account Binding which may be required with some ACME CAs.
  • trusted_roots is one or more root certificates (as PEM filenames) to trust when connecting to the ACME CA server.
  • dns configures the DNS challenge.
  • resolvers customizes the DNS resolvers used when performing the DNS challenge; these take precedence over system resolvers or any default ones.


Obtains certificates using the ACME protocol, specifically with ZeroSSL.

The config for zerossl is exactly the same as the config for acme, except that its name is zerossl, it will use ZeroSSL's directory, and it will automatically negotiate EAB credentials. In other words, simply specifying this issuer (with no other configuration) is enough to use ZeroSSL.

Its default directory endpoint is

Note that ZeroSSL is RFC-8555-compliant and can be used with the acme issuer module instead, but this module is more convenient because it handles the EAB credentials under the hood for you.


Obtains certificates from an internal certificate authority.

... internal {
	ca <name>
  • ca is the name of the internal CA to use. Default: local


Use a custom certificate and key:

tls cert.pem key.pem

Use locally-trusted certificates for all hosts on the current site block, rather than public certificates via ACME / Let's Encrypt (useful in dev environments):

tls internal

Use locally-trusted certificates, but managed on-demand intead of in the background:

tls internal {

Specify an email address for your ACME account (but if only one email is used for all sites, we recommend the email global option instead):


Enable the DNS challenge for a domain managed on Cloudflare with account credentials in an environment variable:

tls {
	dns cloudflare {env.CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN}

Enable TLS Client Authentication and require clients to present a valid certificate that is verified against all the provided CA's via trusted_ca_cert_file

tls {
	client_auth {
		mode                 require_and_verify
		trusted_ca_cert_file ../
		trusted_ca_cert_file ../