In this guide you will learn how to obtain a free wildcard certificate from Let's Encrypt using cert-manager and Okteto's Civo DNS Webhook.


  • A Kubernetes cluster you have access to.
    • If you are part of the #KUBE100 program on Civo, you deploy one by using the dashboard or the command line in minutes. You can apply to the beta here.
  • A working KUBECONFIG and kubectl setup. Once you have a new or existing cluster, get your kubectl command-line to point at it and verify that with kubectl config get-contexts. See also: Install and Set Up kubectl.
  • Helm installed. I recommend you use Helm 3, since it's newer and more secure.
  • A domain name you own, added in Civo. If you don't have one, you can register it for little as $2 from or other DNS providers.


Install Cert-Manager

If you're using Civo's managed Kubernetes service, you can directly install cert-manager from the Application Marketplace.

If you are not using Civo's instance, you can install it with the commands below:

# install the required CRDs
kubectl apply --validate=false -f

# create the cert-manager namespace
kubectl create namespace cert-manager

# add jetstack's repo
helm repo add jetstack

# get the latest charts from the repo
helm repo update

# install cert-manager
helm install \
  --name cert-manager \
  --namespace cert-manager \
  --version v0.13.0 \

More information on this is available on cert-manager's installation guide.

Install Okteto's Civo DNS Webhook

When getting a wildcard certificate, Let's Encrypt asks you to prove that you control the DNS for your domain name by putting a specific value in a TXT record under that domain name. This is known as a DNS01 challenge. cert-manager has support for a few providers out of the box, which you can extend via Webhooks. cert-manager doesn't support Civo out of the box, so we went ahead and created one.

To install the webhook, run the commands below:

helm install webhook-civo --namespace=cert-manager

Configuring the Civo DNS Issuer

Issuers are used by cert-manager to identify or authenticate your user with Let's Encrypt and your DNS provider. We'll use a DNS01 issuer to identify you and to create the required DNS records in your Civo DNS domain. The Civo DNS Issuer requires your API Key to be able to create the required DNS records. To retrieve it, sign into your Civo account and go the settings page. You will find your API key in its own section.

Create a secret in your cluster using the command below:

kubectl create secret generic civo-dns --namespace=cert-manager --from-literal=key=<YOUR_CIVO_API_KEY>

Save the below file as issuer.yaml, changing the email field to yours:

kind: Issuer
  name: civo
      name: letsencrypt-prod
    - dns01:
          solverName: "civo"
              key: key
              name: civo-dns

And apply it to your cluster:

kubectl apply -f issuer.yaml --namespace=cert-manager

Issue the Certificate

Finally, we'll create the Certificate. Creating it will prompt cert-manager to request a certificate with Let's Encrypt and perform the DNS01 challenge.

Save the file below as certificate.yaml, replacing the dnsNames fields with the wildcard domains you want for your certificate:

kind: Certificate
  name: wildcard-certificate
  - '*'
    kind: Issuer
    name: civo
  secretName: wildcard-example-com-tls

And apply it:

kubectl apply -f certificate.yaml --namespace=cert-manager

Your certificate will be verified after a few minutes. You can check the state of it by running the command below:

kubectl get certificate wildcard-certificate --namespace=cert-manager

Once the certificate is valid, the public and private keys and the CA information will be stored in a secret named wildcard-example-com-tls. The certificate will be valid for 90 days, and it will be renewed automatically by cert-manager.

Wrapping Up

In this guide we installed cert-manager, the Civo DNS Webhook and generated a wildcard certificate for your services. The certificate is valid, and it will be automatically renewed by cert-manager.

You now have a valid wild card certificate in your Kubernetes cluster. You can then use this to validate the identity of any service you have running on that domain.


This webhook is open source. If you have an idea or find a bug, feel free to file an issue or submit a PR. All the required information is here.