Broken setup after LetsEncrypt failed install

Posted October 18, 2020 389 views
MySQLApacheUbuntu 16.04Initial Server Setup

Hi all,

I am hoping someone would be kind enough to help a new learner out. I have a site I had setup and I’ve been administering it myself, learning as I go. I thought I would be up to installing LetsEncrypt onto the Ubuntu setup but alas failed miserably, and then when I tried to back out it turns out I don’t actually have a backup or any knowledge of how to set things up properly.

The site is Java based with all files stored in a DATA directory on the server which also includes TomCat 8.5.29 and the .war file (all files also seem to be stored here so....does the site service the WAR file or the unpacked content, ie. index.html or java files?). From this area I have the main site and then an additional management console -admin which allows me to manage the site content/users, etc.

The site itself is now pointing to an apache2 area serving the html standard apache page.

All help gratefully received. COVID means I have no savings to go back to the original developers to correct my incompetance.


MySQL is also running on the server.

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4 answers

Hi @ColonelYeehaw,

You mentioned the website is on a Java based one, on which port is it listening and are you actually using proxy to forward requests from port 80 (the standard port for websites) to your Application?

Additionally, are you going to use Apache for some sort of frontend which will use your Java application as a backed?

I’m asking these so that I can better understand what’s your setup and try to help out.


  • As far as I can tell the backend and front end are both in the java app within the DATA folder. It looks like java is listening on port 8443, mysql is listening on another port and apache on port 80. The site is a registration member site so presumably apache is used for login and mail stuff?
    This is all on one server droplet.
    It was all working great until I did a restart and then messed with the letsencrypt - does this change the configuration files automatically or is it more likely a service was setup that was removed on restart?

    • Hi @ColonelYeehaw,

      So as you are using Apache, you have configured the domain to have a private virtual configuration file, right? If you have that file, you should be able to install Let’s Encrypt for the Apache side without a problem. If you haven’t configured the domain in Apache, please do so and try again using certbot.

  • Can show snippets of the code or setup structures if this is helpful....although you’ll have to guide me as to which ones.

You might try to run apt-get with debugging options, so you might find out more information about this problem:

sudo apt-get -o Debug::pkgProblemResolver=true install python-certbot-apache

If you still do struggle fixing this problem, then provide a result of

sudo grep -i -e servername  -e includeoptional $(find /etc/apache2/ -name "*.conf")

If you do not want to share your domain name, replace it with

Thanks for all the help guys.

I have got the let-encrypt working and also the proxy to redirect requests to port 443.

I don’t seem to be able to get tomcat to serve the pages though. I can navigate through the url to a static home page through but Tomcat doesn’t seem to do anything.

What part of a java application should I be pointing at in the directory within apache2.conf? The data area, tomcat conf or another area.

It looks like tomcat is listening on port 8443.

Learning lots as I go along and quite enjoying achieving something :) thanks in advance for your help/advice