Generate a SSL Certificate and Using it

Nov 27, 2013

A task not done all that often and always difficult to have go smoothly. Here is the flow for generating an SSL Certificate and using it:

Step 1. Private Key and Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

NOTE: Rare but, some certificate authorities will generate a CSR and key for you; you download an entire bundle (.key, .pem)

More common is to generate them using standard openssl commands

Step 2. Certificate Authority

So you now have two files: a Private Key which is yours to keep and a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) that now has to be submitted to a Certificate Authority like Verisign.

The Certificate Authority will then create a new certificate for you to use. That Certificate will be in the form of a PEM or CRT file. Based on your Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and tied to your Private Key.

Step 3. Setup the Web Server

Once you have your crt or pem file and your Private Key, you will use those to configure our web server.