Date created: 10/11/12 18:19:15. Last modified: 04/20/18 16:28:36

Notes on SSL Certs

Generate self-singed certs for Nginx:

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/ssl/private/nginx-selfsigned.key -out /etc/ssl/certs/nginx-selfsigned.crt
sudo openssl dhparam -out /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem 2048
ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/certs/nginx-selfsigned.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/private/nginx-selfsigned.key;
ssl_dhparam /etc/ssl/certs/dhparam.pem;

 

Split a PKCS #12 public and private key pair (*.pfx file) into two files; a public key file, and a private key file;

openssl pkcs12 -in domain.pfx -clcerts -nokeys -out domain.cer
openssl pkcs12 -in domain.pfx -nocerts -nodes  -out domain.key 

The first command extracts the public key to domain.cer.
The second command extracts the private key to domain.key.

Back the other way

openssl pkcs12 -inkey domain.key -in domain.cer -export -out domain.pfx

Convert private key into RSA key

openssl rsa -in domain.com.key -out domain.com.key-rsa

Place the public and private RSA key parts together into a new file (domain.pem) for SSL use such as with Pound Proxy, in the following order (Typically the Root CA Cert is not required!);

-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
...
...  Private RSA key
...
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
...  Public key cert
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
...  Intermediate issuers cert
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
...  Root CA cert
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
touch doamin.com.pem
cat domain.com.key-rsa > domain.com.pem
cat domain.com.cer >> domain.com.pem
cat intermediate-ca.crt >> domain.com.pem 

Certifitcate file types

.csr
This is a Certificate Signing Request. Some applications can generate these for submission to certificate-authorities. It includes some/all of the key details of the requested certificate such as subject, organization, state, whatnot. These get signed by the CA and a certificate is returned. The returned certificate is the public certificate, which itself can be in a couple of formats.

.pem
This is the public-key of a specific certificate. In apache installs, this frequently resides in /etc/ssl/servercerts. This is also the format used for Certificate Authority certificates (/etc/ssl/certs)

.key
This is the private-key of a specific certificate. In apache installs, this frequently resides in /etc/ssl/private. The rights on this directory and the certificates is very important, and some programs will refuse to load these certificates if they are set wrong.

.pkcs12 .pfx .p12
A passworded container format that contains both public and private certificate pairs. 

.der
Fills the same function as a .pem file, but a different format. OpenSSL can convert these to .pem. I've only ever run into them in the wild with Novell's eDirectory certificate authority.

.cert .cer .crt
A .pem file with a different extension. This extension is recognized by Windows Explorer as a certificate, which .pem is not.

.crl
A certificate revocation list. Certificate Authorities produce these as a way to de-authorize certificates before expiration.

Online SSL Checker (for HTTPS):
https://comodosslstore.com/checksslcertificate.aspx
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/