Mar 9, 2015

Getting an SSL Certificate

Two or three times a year I end up needing to update my expiring SSL certificates. Each time I have to look up the one or two commands I need and every time it takes two or three websites to find the right information so I've recorded it here for future reference and in the hopes that it helps someone else as well.

Generating a new CSR:

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout example_com.key -out example_com.csr

OpenSSL will prompt you for the details of the certificate, they can be filled out in any level of detail you wish. The common name that is requested should match the domain the certificate will be used for, for wildcard certs the subdomain should be a star ex: *

Once the CSR has been generated it should be submitted to the certificate authority. In return they will send your new certificate along with a copy of the intermediate and root certificates. The intermediate and root certificates will need to be chained or concatenated to your new certificate as follows:

cat example_com.crt intermediate_cert.crt root_cert.crt > ssl-cert.crt

Note: you may need to consult your certificate authority's documentation to find which certificate is the intermediate and which is the root. For PositiveSSL through Comodo, purchased using NameCheap, my concatination was:

cat example_com.crt COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt > ssl-cert.crt

You can now take the concatenated SSL certificate and your private key that was created during the CSR generation and use it with your web server of choice.