In this guide, we set up a new website on a Handshake domain and secure it with Stateless DANE. Caddy is the recommended way to set up such websites.

Learn more about Handshake, DANE, and Stateless DANE.

Install Caddy

This post assumes Ubuntu; for other OS/distros, see Caddy’s official install docs.

Install caddy with:

curl -1sLf '' | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/caddy-stable-archive-keyring.gpg
curl -1sLf '' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/caddy-stable.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y caddy

Temporary note: until caddy v2.8.0 is released in ~March 2024, it needs to be built from source. So if the above installed a newer version of caddy (> 2.7.6), skip the rest of this section.

# Only follow this until caddy 2.8.0+ is released

# Install go
sudo snap install go --classic

# Build caddy from source
git clone
cd caddy/cmd/caddy/
go build

# Set up the newly build caddy as an alt to the standard caddy
sudo dpkg-divert --divert /usr/bin/caddy.default --rename /usr/bin/caddy
sudo mv ./caddy /usr/bin/caddy.custom
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/caddy caddy /usr/bin/caddy.default 10
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/caddy caddy /usr/bin/caddy.custom 50
sudo systemctl restart caddy

# the above is adapted from

We’ll make sure caddy is running with sudo systemctl status caddy before moving to the next section. The Active: line should say active (running).

Website setup

I won’t go into detail on all the features Caddy offers — they have excellent documentation. Instead, we’ll use the simplest config with the respond directive.

Edit the default Caddyfile with your favorite editor:

sudo vim /etc/caddy/Caddyfile

and update the file to look like this:

demo.lazydane {
    respond "This is a Handshake website!"
    tls {
  • Replace demo.lazydane with your domain name (can be a bare TLD or SLD)
  • Set your email address (does not have to be valid, anything will do)

Then notify caddy to read the new config with:

sudo systemctl reload caddy

Set TLSA record

The final step is to set the TLSA record, just like a regular DANE website.

To find the record to be set, visit and enter your domain name:

Screenshot of HTools ACME TLSA page

Another way to find this record is with openssl: link

Set this record at your DNS host (PowerDNS, Varo, Namebase, etc.)

Visiting https://demo.lazydane/ should load without warnings (if you are browsing securely with Fingertip).

As of this point, the website is just secured with regular DANE.

Where’s Stateless?

Since the certificate needs to include DNSSEC proofs of the TLSA record, they will only be added after the TLSA record is set.

Now that we’ve set the TLSA record, the next time caddy renews the certificate, it will get a Stateless DANE certificate.

We could simply wait for ~1.5 days and it would automatically take effect, but let’s force caddy to renew the certificate now to skip the wait (replace your domain name):

sudo rm /var/lib/caddy/.local/share/caddy/certificates/
sudo systemctl restart caddy

And that’s it! Your website will trustlessly load anywhere Stateleess DANE is supported.

Now show off your shiny new website in the Handshake groups on Telegram and Discord!