How to generate SSL CSR (certificate signing request) and self-signed certificates for Apache/Nginx (using OpenSSL)

  • OpenSSL is an open-source implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols.
'req' PKCS#10 certificate request and certificate generating utility.
'-x509' outputs a self signed certificate instead of a certificate request
'-newkey alg:file' creates a new certificate request and a new private key
'-keyout filename' filename to write the newly created private key to
'-out filename' filename to write to
'-days n' number of days to certify the certificate for, defaults to 30 for x509

# create private key 'key.pem' and generate a certificate signing request 'req.pem'
$ openssl req -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout key.pem -out req.pem
$ openssl genrsa -out key.pem 1024 ; openssl req -new -key key.pem -out req.pem

# generate a self signed root certificate 'cert.pem' and private key 'key.pem'
$ openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem -days 365

from openssl-req@man

'-nodes' if a private key is created it will not be encrypted

# generate a self signed root certificate '$CERT.csr' for apache, and private key '$CERT.key'
$ export CERT=/etc/httpd/ssl/server
$ openssl genpkey -algorithm RSA -pkeyopt rsa_keygen_bits:2048 -out $CERT.key
$ chmod 600 $CERT.key
$ openssl req -new -key $CERT.key -out $CERT.csr
$ openssl x509 -req -in $CERT.csr -signkey $CERT.key -out $CERT.crt -days 365
# edit SSLCertificateFile $CERT.crt and SSLCertificateKeyFile $CERT.key

# same
$ export CERT=/etc/httpd/ssl/server
$ openssl req -x509 -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout $CERT.key -out $CERT.crt -days 365

# same but using 'make testcert'
$ cd /usr/share/ssl/certs ; make testcert

# same but using 'crypto-utils'
$ sudo yum install crypto-utils | sudo apt-get install crypto-utils
$ genkey your_FQDN
# edit SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile

from How to Create Self-Signed SSL Certificates and Keys for Apache

$ nginx -V
TLS SNI support enabled
$ mkdir -p /etc/nginx/ssl/ ; cd $_

# create private key; asks for passphrase
$ openssl genrsa -des3 -out self-ssl.key 2048
# create a certificate signing request - CSR
$ openssl req -new -key self-ssl.key -out self-ssl.csr
# optional remove passphrase
$ cp -v self-ssl.{key,original} ; openssl rsa -in self-ssl.original -out self-ssl.key ; rm -v self-ssl.original
# create certificate
$ openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in self-ssl.csr -signkey self-ssl.key -out self-ssl.crt
# configure nginx
$ cat etc/nginx/virtual/.conf
server {
  listen 443;
  ssl on;
  ssl_certificate /path/to/self-ssl.crt;
  ssl_certificate_key /path/to/self-ssl.key;

# verify certificates
$ openssl verify pem-file
$ openssl verify self-ssl.crt

from HowTo: Create a Self-Signed SSL Certificate on Nginx For CentOS / RHEL


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