Adding SSL to Pivotal Web Services (PWS)

If you have registered a custom domain that you would like to use with Pivotal Web Services (PWS) or any other Cloud Foundry instance, you may also want to use SSL, here’s how.

These instructions were cribbed from the following places:

Create a domain on PWS

cf create-domain space-name
  • You must be an org manager to create domain like this.

Update your DNS records

I chose to only map a single subdomain to PWS, which used a CNAME record to alias the entry for my application, see the instructions for more details. CNAME # example DNS configuration

Create and map your route

 cf create-route app
 cf map-route application --hostname app
  • Note that you need to have both this route, and the cf app domain route mapped for this to work. In the case of PWS this route will be You may at this point want to update your application’s reference to its URL (not always necessary).

Setup an SSL Certificate.

Obtain an SSL Certificate for your domain from somewhere.

I used the instructions at: certbot to obtain a free certificate. It turns out, the Certbot command line application has to be installed on the server itself to work correctly!

I temporarily pointed an ANAME record at a VM I spun up, and ran the certbot commandline tool on that VM in standalone mode. This allowed certbot to verify my ownership of the domain, and subsequently issue a certificate, which I downloaded to my local machine.

Alternatively, you can easily use certbot manually with a dns challenge from your local machine, like so:

sudo certbot -d --manual --preferred-challenges dns certonly
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Plugins selected: Authenticator manual, Installer None
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
dns-01 challenge for

NOTE: The IP of this machine will be publicly logged as having requested this
certificate. If you're running certbot in manual mode on a machine that is not
your server, please ensure you're okay with that.

Are you OK with your IP being logged?
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

Please deploy a DNS TXT record under the name with the following value:


Before continuing, verify the record is deployed.
Press Enter to Continue
Waiting for verification...
Cleaning up challenges

You may be able to script this refresh by checking out some of the solutions here: How to use Let’s Encrypt DNS challenge validation?, how this works with Pivotal’s SSL service is left as an exercise for the reader.

I then used the Pivotal SSL service to register this cert on PWS.

$ cf create-service ssl basic # create SSL service
$ cf service

Service instance:
Service: ssl
Bound apps:
Plan: basic
Description: Upload your SSL certificate for your app(s) on your custom domain
Documentation url:

I followed the Dashboard link in my browser, and uploaded my certificate file and private key that were generated earlier.

Once I had obtained my SSL alias address from the Dashboard, which looked something like: I updated my CNAME record accordingly.

After waiting until everything delegated correctly, I was able to access my PWS hosted site securely using SSL, via the link: I was able to setup up http -> https redirection as well.