From NXDOMAIN to Secure Domain: A Guide to Troubleshooting SSL Certificates


“As an expert, could you advise on the issue I’m encountering with my application’s security certificate? Despite my application being accessible via its subdomain on the local network and having an A record set up in DNS, attempts to generate a certificate using win-acme result in a ‘DNS problem: NXDOMAIN’ error. What steps should I take to secure my application and resolve this error?”


When you’re setting up an application, especially one that’s hosted on a local network, ensuring its security is paramount. A common method to secure an application is by using SSL/TLS certificates, which encrypt the data transmitted between the user and the server. However, generating these certificates can sometimes lead to errors, such as the ‘DNS problem: NXDOMAIN’ error you’ve encountered with win-acme.

The ‘NXDOMAIN’ part of the error stands for Non-Existent Domain, which means that the domain name cannot be resolved to an IP address. This is often due to the domain not being registered or the DNS settings not propagating properly. In your case, since you’ve mentioned that you have an A record set up, the issue might not be with the registration but with propagation or configuration.

Steps to Resolve the Error


DNS Propagation Check

: First, ensure that the DNS changes have fully propagated. This can take up to 48 hours. You can use online tools to check if your DNS records are visible globally.


DNS Configuration Verification

: Double-check the DNS configuration in your Windows Server. Ensure that the A record for ‘’ points to the correct IP address of the machine running IIS.


Firewall and Ports

: Verify that your firewall is not blocking the ACME protocol used by win-acme to communicate with the certificate authority. Also, ensure that ports 80 and 443 are open, as these are required for the HTTP-01 challenge during certificate generation.


Local Hosts File

: If you’re testing locally, make sure that the ‘’ domain is not overridden in your local hosts file.


win-acme Configuration

: Review the win-acme configuration to ensure that it’s set up correctly for your domain. It should be pointing to the right directory and using the correct challenge method.


Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) Record

: Check if there’s a CAA record set up in your DNS that specifies which certificate authorities are allowed to issue certificates for your domain. If there is, ensure that it includes the authority you’re using with win-acme.


Contact Support

: If you’ve gone through all the above steps and the issue persists, it might be helpful to contact the support for win-acme or your DNS provider for further assistance.

Securing Your Application

Once you resolve the DNS issue, you can proceed with generating the SSL/TLS certificate. With the certificate installed, your application will be accessible via HTTPS, which is indicated by a padlock symbol in the browser’s address bar, signifying a secure connection.

Remember, security is an ongoing process. Regularly update your certificates, monitor your application for vulnerabilities, and stay informed about the latest security practices to keep your application safe.

By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the ‘DNS problem: NXDOMAIN’ error and secure your application with the necessary certificates. If you encounter any further issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to experts in the field who can provide more personalized assistance.

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