A simple ACMEv2 client for Windows (for use with Let's Encrypt et al.)

DNS validation

DNS validation works as follows:

  • For each domain, e.g., the ACME server provides a challenge consisting of an x and y value. The truth is actually a little more complicated than that, but for the sake of this explanation it will suffice.
  • The client has to make sure that when the ACME server requests the TXT records for, there should be at least one record called x with content "y".
  • There may be more than one validation lookup for the same token, e.g. from different locations or different protocols (IPv4/IPv6).
  • Let’s Encrypt validates the DNSSEC chain.
  • Let’s Encrypt follows CNAME records and respects delegated autority.
  • Let’s Encrypt does not disclose the source locations of these lookups, which effectively means that the DNS records have to be public, at least for the duration of the validation.


If your goal is to get a certificate for using DNS validation, but the DNS provider for that domain does not support automation and/or your security policy doesn’t allow third party tools like win-acme to access the DNS configuration, then you can set up a CNAME from to another (sub)domain under your control that doesn’t have these limitations. acme-dns is based on this principle, but the same trick can be applied to any of the plugins.