I have the following setup on one of my vhosts:

...<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName cloud.domain.de
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    ServerSignature Off

    Alias "/.well-known/acme-challenge" "/var/www/domain.de/vh-www/htdocs/public/.well-known/acme-challenge"

    <Directory "/var/www/domain.de/vh-www/htdocs/public/.well-known/acme-challenge">
      Require all granted
      ForceType 'text/plain'

    <ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteCond %(REQUEST_URI) !/\.well\-known/acme\-challenge/?.*
      RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
      # RewriteRule ^\.well-known/acme-challenge/([A-Za-z0-9-]+)/?$ - [L]
      RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

What I want to achieve is, that mod_rewrite does not rewrite the URL when the url http://cloud.domain.de/.well-known/acme-challenge/ is accessed.

I already tried different approaches, one of them being the commented-out RewriteRule above, but nothing seems to work: the server rewrites it to https everytime.

When I disable the rewriting for testing purposes, I can access the alias URL just fine...

How do I achieve the specific URL not being rewritten?

3 Answers 3


Like that :

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/\.well\-known/acme\-challenge/
    RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

If the URI match start with /.well-known/acme-challenge/ the request will not be redirected

  • First, thanks for you advice! Unfortunately, it didn't work. When you visit: http://www.server-plant.de/.well-known/acme-challenge/it is still being rewritten. (I applied the same Rewrrite Rules and Conditions for my www-Subdomain, so it's excatly the same as the cloud-Subdomain)
    – FleBeling
    Nov 26, 2015 at 11:39
  • 1
    Edited : there was () instead of {} and RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off is not requiered
    – Froggiz
    Nov 26, 2015 at 11:58
  • Yeah, I just blindly copied yours without checking for the right brackets, but well, sh.. happens :) Now it works like charm and you're also right regarding the other condition. Just one question left: How to change the condition to also match everything behind the trailing /? So it wouldn't catch index.html and so on?
    – FleBeling
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:28
  • it already match all start with /.well-known/acme-challenge/that mean /.well-known/acme-challenge/anything will not be redirect too
    – Froggiz
    Nov 26, 2015 at 13:32
  • 1
    Rewrite configurations can be inherited to all virtual hosts with RewriteOptions InheritDown since Apache 2.4.8. RewriteEngine On has still to be present in each virtual host configuration.
    – tobltobs
    May 10, 2017 at 15:32

@mark Correct version of the "shorter and more robust" variant:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/\.well\-known
RewriteRule . - [L]
  • adding this to stop the ssl redirect rules below it is awesome
    – James Tan
    Apr 17, 2019 at 3:42
  • The single dot in line 2 did not work for me. Is it because it only matches one char and the url consists of several chars? I am using ^(.*)$ instead.
    – Jette
    Jun 7, 2019 at 4:33

IMHO shorter and more robust:

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^\.well\-known
RewriteRule - [L]

you may want to add /acme-challenge/ eventually but if you would like to debug it with an arbitrary file, like ./well-known/test this solution works better

what does it actually do: looks whether the request starts with .well-known, in that case does nothing (the meaning of -) and make it the last rule [L]

  • nope. The virtualhosts still seem to have precedence. "Sections inside <VirtualHost> sections are applied after the corresponding sections outside the virtual host definition. This allows virtual hosts to override the main server configuration." from httpd.apache.org/docs/current/sections.html Feb 2, 2017 at 15:30

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