The second article in our series on setting up webservers the easy way, this article covers setting up virtual hosts, allowing you to server multiple domains from one box; and certificates, which are needed to do SSL.
Here is a step-by-step description on how to create certificates. Create a RSA private key for your Apache server (will be Triple-DES encrypted and PEM formatted): # openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024 Please backup the new server.key file at a secure location. Remember the pass-phrase you entered! You can see the details of this RSA private key via the command: # openssl rsa -noout -text -in server.key And you could create a decrypted PEM version (not recommended) of this RSA private key via: # openssl rsa -in server.key -out server.key.unsecure Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) with the server RSA private key (output will be PEM formatted): # openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr Make sure you enter the FQDN ("Fully Qualified Domain Name") of the server when OpenSSL prompts you for the "CommonName", i.e. when you generate a CSR for a web site which will be later accessed via https://www.foo.dom/, enter "www.foo.dom" here. You can see the details of this CSR via the command: # openssl req -noout -text -in server.csr Here you have 2 options:
Send it off to a CA You can let the CSR sign by a commercial CA like Verisign or Thawte. Then you usually have to post the CSR into a web form, pay for the signing and await the signed Certificate you then can store into a server.crt file. For more information about commercial CAs have a look at the following sites:
Be Your own CA You can also use your own CA and sign the CSR yourself by this CA. You can create your own Certificate Authority for signing certificates. The short answer is to use the CA.sh or CA.pl script provided by OpenSSL. The long and manual answer is this: Create a RSA private key for your CA (will be Triple-DES encrypted and PEM formatted): # openssl genrsa -des3 -out ca.key 1024 Please backup this ca.key file at a secure location. Ramember the pass-phrase you entered . You can see the details of this RSA private key via the command: # openssl rsa -noout -text -in ca.key And you can create a decrypted PEM version (not recommended) of this private key via: # openssl rsa -in ca.key -out ca.key.unsecure Create a self-signed CA Certificate (X509 structure) with the RSA key of the CA (output will be PEM formatted): # openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -key ca.key -out ca.crt You can see the details of this Certificate via the command: # openssl x509 -noout -text -in ca.crt Prepare a script for signing which is needed because the ``openssl ca'' command has some strange requirements and the default OpenSSL config doesn't allow one easily to use ``openssl ca'' directly. So a script named sign.sh is distributed with the mod_ssl distribution (subdir pkg.contrib/). Use this script for signing.
Now you can use this CA to sign server CSR's in order to create real SSL Certificates for use inside an Apache web server (assuming you already have a server.csr at hand): # ./sign.sh server.csr This signs the server CSR and results in a server.crt file.
Now you have two files: server.key and server.crt. Use them as following inside your Apache's httpd.conf file:
The server.csr file is no longer needed. See the instructions above to see a better example.