2016-07-27

Nginx and LetsEncrypt SSL certificate problem with iOS and Safari (fixed)

I have recently started using LetsEncrypt as my main SSL certificate supplier, it's amazing! With the auto-renew cron task, I have literally 0 work to do to keep certificates up to date, and of course, it's free.

I recently noticed an issue though: when I visit my websites over HTTPS on my iPhone (and reportedly the problem exists with Safari on Mac OS X as well), the sites simply will not load. This is the error I get:


The error reads: "Safari cannot open the page because the network connection was reset. The server may be busy". After trying to sort out the problem for hours and Googling up the error everywhere, I finally stumbled upon this forum thread. Well thank you Mr. Duckson because that really did fix the problem!

The solution: in your server {  ... } block, insert the ssl_session_cache directive with whatever value you deem fit. Example from Nginx documentation: ssl_session_cache shared:SSL:10m;

Save your configuration, reload Nginx, try it again - voila, it's fixed. Kudos to koren on IRC for finding the solution, you have amazing Google skills, my friend. If anyone has an explanation as to why this directive is required for Safari/iOS browsers specifically with LetsEncrypt certificate, I'm all ears!

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