Generate CSR: Apache (w/OpenSSL, MODSSL, or ApacheSSL)
Follow these instructions to generate a Private Key and CSR.
You must have OpenSSL installed on your server. OpenSSL
is a free, open-source tool, used from the command-line, to generate
CSR's, private keys, and other cryptographic functions. In most cases
OpenSSL is already installed on your operating system. To verify that
you have OpenSSL installed type
openssl --help from the command
line. If the shell returns
command not found OpenSSL is either not
installed or you are not authorized to use that command. If OpenSSL
is not installed on your system you may need to
- Create an RSA private key for your Apache server PEM-formatted:
openssl genrsa -out domainname.key 2048
Warning: Make a backup copy of this key.
2048 in the command above is the key
bit length. GeoTrust recommends a key bit length of 2048.
Tip: Your private key will be
created in the current directory unless otherwise specified.
The private key needs to end up in the /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key directory if you
installed Apache using the RPM or /usr/local/apache/conf/ssl.key directory if you installed
Apache using the source files. You can copy the private key to the proper directory
or move into that directory before executing the openssl commands. Please note that 'ssl.key'
is a directory that contains your 'domainname.key' file. When
your GeoTrust SSL certificate is delivered it will need to be copied
to /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.crt or /usr/local/apache/conf/ssl.crt directory.
- Now create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using the RSA private
key created above:
openssl req -new -key domainname.key -out domainname.csr
You will be asked for several pieces of info which will be used by GeoTrust to create
your new SSL certificate. These fields include the Common Name (aka domain, FQDN), organization,
country, key bit length, etc. Use the CSR Legend in the right-hand column of this page
to guide you when asked for this information. The following characters should not
be used when typing in your CSR input: < > ~ ! @ # $ % ^ / \ ( ) ? , &
- You will be prompted for extra attributes (i.e., a challenge password and optional company name); we
recommend you leave these attributes empty (just hit Enter).
- You can verify the contents of your CSR by using the following command:
openssl req -noout -text -in domainname.csr
Save a copy of your CSR. The CSR will be needed during the online order
process. You'll be asked to copy-and-paste your CSR into a special CSR box.
Below is an example of what your CSR will look like. This
is a example only and cannot be used to generate your SSL certificate.
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
-----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
When generating your CSR you will be asked to input
a few pieces of info. Below are some common fields with descriptions and examples.
(also see About the CSR)
Common Name (CN)
The fully-qualified-domain name for your certificate. Examples include...
- *.domain.com (for wildcard SSL)
The exact legal name of your organization. Do not abbreviate your
organization's name. Example: Metro Realty LLC or Flowers by Jenny
Organizational Unit (OU)
The section or division of the organization. Example: Sales, Support, Customer Service
City or Locality (L)
The city where your organization is legally located. Cannot be
abbreviated. Example: Atlanta
State (S) or Province
The state or province where your organization is legally located. Cannot
be abbreviated.. Example: Georgia
The two-letter ISO Country Code abbreviation for your country. Example: US, CA, GB (must be two-letters)
Any email address. This field is arbitrary but must be filled in. GeoTrust
will not use this email address to process your order. Example: email@example.com
Key Bit Length
The key bit length has to do with the initial key exchange, not the
encryption strength of your certificate. GeoTrust recommends a key bit length of 2048.