The Admin Tax

created Apr 1, 2019

This is yet another problem, faced by people who prefer to use a server-hosted solution for managing their personal websites, instead of using a CMS-hosted solution.

It's not every week nor every month that something needs addressed when managing a server, but admin-like actions are needed at least a few times a year.

Most people have no interest in incurring the admin tax, which means they will choose to post their content at Blogger.com, WordPress, Svbtle.com or similar setups that support domain name mapping. A CMS-hosted solution.

Users can still lease their own domain names and point them to, for example, their account that's hosted at WordPress. Such users will have a unique website domain name, but WordPress/Automattic will handle the server-side admin duties.

Updating Let's Encrypt certificates began to show problems in March 2019. I received the following error when trying to update my cert, used at https://soupmode.com.


Creating virtual environment...
Installing Python packages...
/opt/eff.org/certbot/venv/bin/python: No module named pip.__main__; 'pip' is a package and cannot be directly executed
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/tmp/tmp.UQsyNkAZSB/pipstrap.py", line 177, in 
    sys.exit(main())
  File "/tmp/tmp.UQsyNkAZSB/pipstrap.py", line 149, in main
    pip_version = StrictVersion(check_output([python, '-m', 'pip', '--version'])
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/subprocess.py", line 544, in check_output
    raise CalledProcessError(retcode, cmd, output=output)
subprocess.CalledProcessError: Command '['/opt/eff.org/certbot/venv/bin/python', '-m', 'pip', '--version']' returned non-zero exit status 1

I've been using Let's Encrypt for a few years. Prior to LE, I used another service. I've used https (TLS) with soupmode.com, since late 2013 or early 2014.

Anyway, I have never had a problem with updating Let's Encrypt until March 2019.

I found the same problem and the solution in this March 2019 post.

https://community.letsencrypt.org/t/certbot-auto-started-failing-with-no-module-named-pip-main/89097

Solution:

rm ./certbot-auto*
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/certbot/certbot/75499277be6699fd5a9b884837546391950a3ec9/certbot-auto
chmod +x ./certbot-auto
./certbot-auto --no-self-upgrade