Quickly create or request ssl certificate for Apache

#Create different directories for the different data (this is the path for RedHat derivatives)
cd /etc/httpd/conf
mkdir ssl.csr ssl.key ssl.crt
chmod 700 ssl.*

Self-Signed Certificate

# Create the cert request. Common Name (CN) should be the FQDN, e.g., myhost.foo.com
# 2048 bits is probably adequate these days. Expiration more than 5 years makes little sense.
# PEM passphrase is what the server process (or user) will have to type to use the cert; it
# can be bypassed if you want with the key file in the next step.  EDIT: current versions
# of openssl that ship with CentOS/RHEL do not let you bypass the PEM
# passphrase. Give it one, then create the key file if you want to eliminate the need for it.
openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 > ssl.csr/myhost.foo.com.csr

# create the key file, myhost.foo.com.key (careful! this makes it so that e.g. httpd will
# not prompt for the key on startup, but so that the cert is easily
# read if the host is compromised.)
openssl rsa -in privkey.pem -out ssl.key/myhost.foo.com.key

# self-sign/create the cert, myhost.foo.com.crt
openssl x509 -in ssl.csr/myhost.foo.com.csr -out ssl.crt/myhost.foo.com.crt -req -signkey ssl.key/myhost.foo.com.key

Externally signed certificate request
openssl req -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout ssl.key/myhost.foo.com.key -out ssl.csr/myhost.foo.com.csr

mail the myhost.foo.com.csr file to your ssl provider.
Make the key unencrypted if you want:
openssl rsa -in ssl.key/myhost.foo.com.key -out ssl.key/myhost.foo.com.key.unenc
...and reference the unenc file in your ssl host config file. This will prevent having to enter the encryption key passphrase every time the httpd is restarted, but it will mean your key could be compromised if the box is compromised.

1 comment:

Nick Decosta said...

I just finished up reading your blog the first time so I thought I should comment to let you know your stuff is great and you have another follower! Keep the posts coming!

We just bought a wildcard ssl certificate at ClickSSL. As a first time customer of ClickSSL we are very happy with the service and support.