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How to Create a self signed SSL Certificate on Apache for Ubuntu 12.04


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In this tutorial we are going to setup and install a self signed ssl certificate for apache.


We need to have apache installed and running. If you do not have apache installed simply install with.


sudo apt-get install apache2 


Follow the installation by restarting the apache server.


sudo service apache2 restart 


Now we need to create a directory where we will store the key and certificate.


sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl 


Now to create the self signed certificate.

When we request a new certificate, we can specify how long the certificate should remain valid by changing the 365 to the number of days we prefer. As it stands this certificate will expire after one year. You can feel free to change the number to a more suitable time period to meet your needs.


sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key -out /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt 


With this command, we will be both creating the self-signed SSL certificate and the server key that protects it, and placing both of them into the new directory.

This command will prompt terminal to display a lists of fields that need to be filled in.

The most important line is "Common Name". Enter your official domain name here or, if you don't have one yet, your site's IP address.



You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporatedinto your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:New York
Locality Name (eg, city) []:NYC
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:Awesome Inc
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Dept of Merriment
Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []:example.com 
Email Address []:webmaster@awesomeinc.com 



Setting up the certificate.


Now we have all of the required components of the finished certificate.The next thing to do is to set up the virtual hosts to display the new certificate. 

Open up the SSL config file:


sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default 



You should make the following changes.

Change the port on the virtual host to 443, the default SSL port:


<VirtualHost *:443> 

Add a line with your server name right below the Server Admin email:



ServerName example.com:443 

Replace example.com with your DNS approved domain name or server IP address (it should be the same as the common name on the certificate).

Add in the following three lines to your virtual host configuration, and make sure that they match the extensions below:


SSLEngine onSSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key 


Activate the new Virtual Host


sudo a2ensite default 

You are all set. Restarting your Apache server will reload it with all of your changes in place.



sudo service apache2 reload 

In your browser, type https://youraddress, and you will be able to see the new certificate.


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