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tls

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.

Syntax

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>
	key_type  ed25519|p256|p384|rsa2048|rsa4096
	dns       <provider_name> [<params...>]
	propagation_timeout <duration>
	propagation_delay   <duration>
	dns_ttl             <duration>
	dns_challenge_override_domain <domain>
	resolvers <dns_servers...>
	eab       <key_id> <mac_key>
	on_demand
	reuse_private_keys
	client_auth {
		mode                   [request|require|verify_if_given|require_and_verify]
		trust_pool             <module>
		trusted_leaf_cert      <base64_der>
		trusted_leaf_cert_file <filename>
		verifier 			   <module>
	}
	issuer          <issuer_name>  [<params...>]
	get_certificate <manager_name> [<params...>]
	insecure_secrets_log <log_file>
}
  • internal means to use Caddy's internal, locally-trusted CA to produce certificates for this site. To further configure the internal issuer, use the issuer subdirective.

  • <email> is the email address to use for the ACME account managing the site's certificates. You may prefer to use the email global option instead, to configure this for all your sites at once.

  • <cert_file> and <key_file> are the paths to the certificate and private key PEM files. Specifying just one is invalid.

  • protocols specifies the minimum and maximum protocol versions. DO NOT change these unless you know what you're doing. Configuring this is rarely necessary, because Caddy will always use modern defaults.

    Default min: tls1.2, Default max: tls1.3

  • ciphers specifies the list of cipher suite names in descending preference order. DO NOT change these unless you know what you're doing. Note that cipher suites are not customizable for TLS 1.3; and not all TLS 1.2 ciphers are enabled by default. The supported names are (in order of preference by the Go stdlib):

    • TLS_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
    • TLS_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256
    • TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
    • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
    • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
    • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256
    • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA
    • TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA
    • TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA
  • curves specifies the list of EC curves to support. It is recommended to not change these. 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 set Let's Encrypt's staging endpoint when testing, 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.

  • key_type is the type of key to use when generating CSRs. Only set this if you have a specific requirement.

  • 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.

  • propagation_timeout is a duration value that sets the maximum time to wait for the DNS TXT records to appear when using the DNS challenge. Set to -1 to disable propagation checks. Default 2 minutes.

  • propagation_delay is a duration value that sets how long to wait before starting DNS TXT records propagation checks when using the DNS challenge. Default 0 (no wait).

  • dns_ttl is a duration value that sets the TTL of the TXT record used for the DNS challenge. Rarely needed.

  • dns_challenge_override_domain overrides the domain to use for the DNS challenge. This is to delegate the challenge to a different domain.

    You may want to use this if your primary domain's DNS provider does not have a DNS plugin available. You can instead add a CNAME record with subdomain _acme-challenge to your primary domain, pointing to a secondary domain for which you do have a plugin. This option does not require special support from the plugin.

    When ACME issuers try to solve the DNS challenge for your primary domain, they will then follow the CNAME to your secondary domain to find the TXT record.

    Note: Use full canonical name from the CNAME record as value here - _acme-challenge subdomain won't be prepended automatically.

  • resolvers customizes the DNS resolvers used when performing the DNS challenge; these take precedence over system resolvers or any default ones. If set here, the resolvers will propagate to all configured certificate issuers.

    This is typically a list of IP addresses. For example, to use Google Public DNS :

    resolvers 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    
  • 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). Security warning: Doing so in production is insecure unless you also configure the on_demand_tls global option to mitigate abuse.

  • reuse_private_keys enables reuse of private keys when renewing certificates. By default, a new key is created for every new certificate to mitigate pinning and reduce the scope of key compromise. Key pinning is against industry best practices. This option is not recommended unless you have a specific reason to use it; this may be subject to removal in a future version.

  • 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.

    • trust_pool configures the source of certificate authorities (CA) providing certificates against which to validate client certificates.

      The certificate authority used providing the pool of trusted certificates and the configuration within the segment depends on the configured source of trust pool module. The standard modules available in Caddy are listed below. The full list of modules, including 3rd-party, is listed in the trust_pool JSON documentation.

    • trusted_leaf_cert is a base64 DER-encoded client leaf certificate to accept.

    • trusted_leaf_cert_file is a path to a PEM CA certificate file against which to validate client certificates.

      Multiple trusted_* directives may be used to specify multiple CA or leaf certificates. Client certificates which are not listed as one of the leaf certificates or signed by any of the specified CAs will be rejected according to the mode.

    • verifier enables the use of a custom client certificate verifier module. These can perform custom client authentication checks, such as ensuring the certificate is not revoked.

  • 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. 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.

    This subdirective can be specified multiple times to configure multiple, redundant issuers; if one fails to issue a cert, the next one will be tried.

  • get_certificate enables getting certificates from a manager module at handshake-time.

  • insecure_secrets_log enables logging of TLS secrets to a file. This is also known as SSLKEYLOGFILE. Uses NSS key log format, which can then be parsed by Wireshark or other tools. ⚠️ Security Warning: This is insecure as it allows other programs or tools to decrypt TLS connections, and therefore completely compromises security. However, this capability can be useful for debugging and troubleshooting.

Trust Pool Providers

These are the standard trust pool providers that can be used in the trust_pool subdirective:

inline

The inline module parses the trusted root certificates as listed in the Caddyfile directly in base64 DER-encoded format. The trust_der directive may be repeated multiple times.

trust_pool inline {
	trust_der      <base64_der>
}
  • trust_der is a base64 DER-encoded CA certificate against which to validate client certificates.

file

The file module reads the trusted root certificates from PEM files from disk. The pem_file directive can accept multiple file paths on the same line and may be repeated multiple times.

... file [<pem_file>...] {
	pem_file <pem_file>...
}
  • pem_file is a path to a PEM CA certificate file against which to validate client certificates.

pki_root

The pki_root module obtains the root and trusts certificates from the certificate authority defined in the PKI app. The authority directive can accept multiple authorities at the same time and may be repeated multiple times.

... pki_root [<ca_name>...] {
	authority <ca_name>...
}
  • authority is the name of the certificate authority configured in the PKI app.

pki_intermediate

The pki_intermediate module obtains the intermediate and trusts certificates from the certificate authority defined in the PKI app. The authority directive can accept multiple authorities at the same time and may be repeated multiple times.

... pki_intermediate [<ca_name>...] {
	authority <ca_name>...
}
  • authority is the name of the certificate authority configured in the PKI app.

storage

The storage module extracts the trusted certificates root from Caddy storage. The authority directive can accept multiple authorities at the same time and may be repeated multiple times.

... storage [<storage_keys>...] {
	storage <storage_module>
	keys    <storage_keys>...
}
  • storage is an optional storage module to use. If not specified, the default storage module will be used. If specified, it may be specified only once.

  • keys is the list of storage keys at which the PEM files of the certificates are stored. The directive accepts multiple values on the same line and may be specified multiple times.

http

The http module obtains the trusted certificates from HTTP endpoints. The endpoints directive can accept multiple endpoints at the same time and may be repeated multiple times.

... http [<endpoints...>] {
	endpoints   <endpoints...>
	tls         <tls_config>
}
  • endpoints is the list of HTTP endpoints from which to obtain certificates. The directive accepts multiple values on the same line and may be specified multiple times.

  • tls is an optional TLS configuration to use when connecting to the HTTP endpoint. The segment parsing is defined in the following section.

TLS
... {
	ca                    <ca_module>
	insecure_skip_verify
	handshake_timeout     <duration>
	server_name           <name>
	renegotiation         <never|once|freely>
}
  • ca is an optional directive to define the provider of trust pool. The configuration follows the same behavior of trust_pool. If specified, it may be specified only once.

  • insecure_skip_verify turns off TLS handshake verification, making the connection insecure and vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Do not use in production. The verification is done against either the certificate authorities trusted by the system or as determined by the ca directive.

  • handshake_timeout is the maximum duration to wait for the TLS handshake to complete. Default: No timeout..

  • server_name sets the server name used when verifying the certificate received in the TLS handshake. By default, this will use the upstream address' host part.

  • renegotiation sets the TLS renegotiation level. TLS renegotiation is the act of performing subsequent handshakes after the first. The level may be one of:

    • never (the default) disables renegotiation.
    • once allows a remote server to request renegotiation once per connection.
    • freely allows a remote server to repeatedly request renegotiation.

Issuers

These issuers come standard with the tls directive:

acme

Obtains certificates using the ACME protocol. Note that acme is a default issuer (using Let's Encrypt), so configuring it explicitly is usually unnecessary.

... acme [<directory_url>] {
	dir      <directory_url>
	test_dir <test_directory_url>
	email    <email>
	timeout  <duration>
	disable_http_challenge
	disable_tlsalpn_challenge
	alt_http_port    <port>
	alt_tlsalpn_port <port>
	eab <key_id> <mac_key>
	trusted_roots <pem_files...>
	dns <provider_name> [<options>]
	propagation_timeout <duration>
	propagation_delay   <duration>
	dns_ttl             <duration>
	dns_challenge_override_domain <domain>
	resolvers <dns_servers...>
	preferred_chains [smallest] {
		root_common_name <common_names...>
		any_common_name  <common_names...>
	}
}
  • dir is the URL to the ACME CA's directory.

    Default: https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/directory

  • 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: https://acme-staging-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/directory

  • email is the ACME account contact email address.

  • timeout is a duration value that sets 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.

  • propagation_timeout is a duration value that sets the maximum time to wait for the DNS TXT records to appear when using the DNS challenge. Set to -1 to disable propagation checks. Default 2 minutes.

  • propagation_delay is a duration value that sets how long to wait before starting DNS TXT records propagation checks when using the DNS challenge. Default 0 (no wait).

  • dns_ttl is a duration value that sets the TTL of the TXT record used for the DNS challenge. Rarely needed.

  • dns_challenge_override_domain overrides the domain to use for the DNS challenge. This is to delegate the challenge to a different domain.

    You may want to use this if your primary domain's DNS provider does not have a DNS plugin available. You can instead add a CNAME record with subdomain _acme-challenge to your primary domain, pointing to a secondary domain for which you do have a plugin. This option does not require special support from the plugin.

    When ACME issuers try to solve the DNS challenge for your primary domain, they will then follow the CNAME to your secondary domain to find the TXT record.

    Note: Use full canonical name from the CNAME record as value here - _acme-challenge subdomain won't be prepended automatically.

  • resolvers customizes the DNS resolvers used when performing the DNS challenge; these take precedence over system resolvers or any default ones. If set here, the resolvers will propagate to all configured certificate issuers.

    This is typically a list of IP addresses. For example, to use Google Public DNS :

    resolvers 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    
  • preferred_chains specifies which certificate chains Caddy should prefer; useful if your CA provides multiple chains. Use one of the following options:

    • smallest will tell Caddy to prefer chains with the fewest amount of bytes.

    • root_common_name is a list of one or more common names; Caddy will choose the first chain that has a root that matches with at least one of the specified common names.

    • any_common_name is a list of one or more common names; Caddy will choose the first chain that has an issuer that matches with at least one of the specified common names.

zerossl

Obtains certificates using the ACME protocol, specifically with ZeroSSL. Note that zerossl is a default issuer, so configuring it explicitly is usually unnecessary.

... zerossl [<api_key>] {
	...
}

The syntax for zerossl is exactly the same as for acme, except that its name is zerossl and it can optionally take your ZeroSSL API key.

Its functionality is also the same, except that it will use ZeroSSL's directory by default and it can automatically negotiate EAB credentials (whereas with the acme issuer, you have to manually provide EAB credentials and set the directory endpoint).

When explicitly configuring zerossl, configuring an email is required so that your certificates can appear in your ZeroSSL dashboard.

internal

Obtains certificates from an internal certificate authority.

... internal {
	ca       <name>
	lifetime <duration>
	sign_with_root
}
  • ca is the name of the internal CA to use. Default: local. See the PKI app global options to configure the local CA, or to create alternate CAs.

    By default, the root CA certificate has a 3600d lifetime (10 years) and the intermediate has a 7d lifetime (7 days).

    Caddy will attempt to install the root CA certificate to the system trust store, but this may fail when Caddy is running as an unprivileged user, or when running in a Docker container. In that case, the root CA certificate will need to be manually installed, either by using the caddy trust command, or by copying out of the container.

  • lifetime is a duration value that sets the validity period for interally issued leaf certificates. Default: 12h. It is NOT recommended to change this, unless absolutely necessary. It must be shorter than the intermediate's lifetime.

  • sign_with_root forces the root to be the issuer instead of the intermediate. This is NOT recommended and should only be used when devices/clients do not properly validate certificate chains (very uncommon).

Certificate Managers

Certificate manager modules are distinct from issuer modules in that use of manager modules implies that an external tool or service is keeping the certificate renewed, whereas an issuer module implies that Caddy itself is managing the certificate. (Issuer modules take a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) as input, but certificate manager modules take a TLS ClientHello as input.)

These manager modules come standard with the tls directive:

tailscale

Get certificates from a locally-running Tailscale instance. HTTPS must be enabled in your Tailscale account (or your open source Headscale server ); and the Caddy process must either be running as root, or you must configure tailscaled to give your Caddy user permission to fetch certificates.

NOTE: This is usually unnecessary! Caddy automatically uses Tailscale for all *.ts.net domains without any extra configuration.

get_certificate tailscale  # often unnecessary!

http

Get certificates by making an HTTP(S) request. The response must have a 200 status code and the body must contain a PEM chain including the full certificate (with intermediates) as well as the private key.

get_certificate http <url>
  • url is the fully-qualified URL to which to make the request. It is strongly advised that this be a local endpoint for performance reasons. The URL will be augmented with the following query string parameters:

    • server_name: SNI value
    • signature_schemes: comma-separated list of hex IDs of signature algorithms
    • cipher_suites: comma-separated list of hex IDS of cipher suites

Examples

Use a custom certificate and key. The certificate should have SANs that match the site address:

example.com {
	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):

example.com {
	tls internal
}

Use locally-trusted certificates, but managed On-Demand instead of in the background. This allows you to point any domain at your Caddy instance and have it automatically provision a certificate for you. This SHOULD NOT be used if your Caddy instance is publicly accessible, since an attacker could use it to exhaust your server's resources:

https:// {
	tls internal {
		on_demand
	}
}

Use custom options for the internal CA (cannot use the tls internal shortcut):

example.com {
	tls {
		issuer internal {
			ca foo
		}
	}
}

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):

example.com {
	tls your@email.com
}

Enable the DNS challenge for a domain managed on Cloudflare with account credentials in an environment variable. This unlocks wildcard certificate support, which requires DNS validation:

*.example.com {
	tls {
		dns cloudflare {env.CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN}
	}
}

Get the certificate chain via HTTP, instead of having Caddy manage it. Note that get_certificate implies on_demand is enabled, fetching certificates using a module instead of triggering ACME issuance:

https:// {
	tls {
		get_certificate http http://localhost:9007/certs
	}
}

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

example.com {
	tls {
		client_auth {
			mode                 require_and_verify
			trusted_ca_cert_file ../caddy.ca.cer
			trusted_ca_cert_file ../root.ca.cer
		}
	}
}