Timeout after connect (your server may be slow or overloaded)

Posted July 11, 2020 740 views
NginxLet's EncryptUbuntu 18.04

I’ve been using my droplet for over a year now, running nginx on an Ubuntu 18 system. I use Let’s Encrypt to automatically renew SSL certificates, but I started receiving errors for the renewal process.

Thus, I asked the Let’s Encrypt community, and got some really valuable help. Read the discussion here:

The last suggestion from the person who helped me (_az) implied something could be wrong with the server, as the responses I get indicate a problem with the network i/o. The first issue I encountered was related to the Let’s Encrypt validation server talking to the droplet, and now the issue is the droplet talking to the Let’s Encrypt API).

Can any of you help me out, based on the logs (see the link to Let’s Encrypt Community I posted), or help me find the issue here? I really need to be able to renew me certificates, and I want to make sure everything is OK with the droplet, otherwise it’s kind of useless to keep paying for it.

The related domains for the certificates are:

Thanks in advance!

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Submit an Answer
1 answer


Do you get the error constantly or is it an intermittent problem?

If this is an intermittent problem, what I could suggest is that the next time it happens, you should check a few things on your server:

  • Check the resources utilization on your server, you could use either the htop or the ps -aux commands to check that. If your server has a really high CPU utilization it could mean that the response time is slower, which in some cases could result in timeouts.

  • Check the number of TCP connections to your Nginx services, you could use the netstat -plant command to check that. If there is a really big number of TCP connections, Nginx might be hitting its max_conns limit which would again result in timeouts.

  • If this is the case, change the time when the renewal happens and set it to a less busy period, you can check your servers usage graphs and spot a quiet period of time.

  • Also I would recommend going through your Nginx access and error logs for some more information.

Let me know how it goes!