Trying to install letsencrypt on Debian Jessie, I have run into the following situation I don't quite understand. I already have installed python-acme:

dpkg -l | grep acme
ii  python-acme  0.6.0-1~bpo8+1  all  ACME protocol library for Python 2

Now I'm trying to install python-letsencrypt:

apt-get install python-letsencrypt
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 python-letsencrypt : Depends: python-acme (>= 0.5.0) but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

What is the meaning of this error message? As far as I can tell, I have the right version of the package installed (0.6.0-1~bpo8+1 is >= 0.5.0, right?) Why does the package manager refuse to see it?


I suspect some issue with the transition to certbot and the use of virtual packages... (Until recently, versioned dependencies weren't supported on virtual packages.)

Since certbot is now in the Jessie backports, and replaces letsencrypt, I'd recommend installing that instead:

apt-get install -t jessie-backports certbot
  • 1
    certbot is letsencrypt's new name (to avoid confusion between the tool and the organisation); see the announcement for details. – Stephen Kitt Jun 10 '16 at 6:51
  • OK! I'll add that guy to my friend's list :) – Dmitry Grigoryev Jun 10 '16 at 6:53

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