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Generate CSR: Tomcat

Follow these instructions to generate a Private Key and CSR.

  1. Using the java keytool command line utility, the first thing you need to do is create a keystore and generate the key pair. Do this with the following command: keytool -genkey -keysize 2048 -keyalg RSA -alias tomcat -keystore mykeystore
  2. Tip: The 2048 in the command above is the key bit length. GeoTrust recommends a key bit length of 2048.

  3. You will be prompted for a password for the keystore. Tomcat uses a default password of "changeit". Hit enter if you want to keep the default password. If you use a different password, you will need to specify a custom password in the server.xml configuration file.
  4. You will be prompted for a password for the private key within the keystore. If you press enter at the prompt, the key password is set to the same password as that used for the keystore from the previous step. The key password must be at least 6 characters long. Make a note of the passwords. If lost they cannot be retrieved.
  5. 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: < > ~ ! @ # $ % ^ / \ ( ) ? , &
  6. On some older versions of the keytool utility, the next field that you will be prompted for is What is your first and last name? At this prompt, you must specify the Common Name of your web site (see CSR legend), not your real first and last name.
  7. You will then be prompted for your organizational unit, organization, etc.
  8. Now generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) from the private key generated above using the following command: keytool -certreq -alias tomcat -file yourdomain.csr -keystore mykeystore This creates a CSR and stores it in a file named yourdomain.csr.
  9. 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----- MIIB3zCCAUgCAQAwgZ4xCzAJBgNVBAYTAlVTMRAwDgYDVQQIEwdHZW9yZ2lhMRAw DgYDVQQHEwdBdGxhbnRhMREwDwYDVQQKEwhHZW9DZXJ0czEaMBgGA1UECxMRSW5l cm5ldCBNYXJrZXRpbmcxGTAXBgNVBAMTEHd3dy5nZW9jZXJ0cy5jb20xITAfBgkq hkiG9w0BCQEWEmFkbWluQGdlb2NlcnRzLmNvbTCBnzANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAAOB jQAwgYkCgYEA5KOi+RnRzBuBQeFYjrwZg1sfT7zr4L8j0Khuoj621x+lGBmFC76c kGclUIQBmuyp9T9NrNqAjGtEmgdFr6cWLJtgXgi+BaZDLX9BMYF49NuTggNoEUMX crQRAENHb2YthG2SEcF5p98RNcDPzWOA3a4AMvgkxDlDGYUhbcQhnt0CAwEAAaAA MA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBAUAA4GBAIapt6Tw0BTYUwEAX0/oKvaaN/ghErR85jdW7xOD b1hL0yNfb495A7e/IQyBEP5a/v+QUOtibHS4geiPhH9etAI+DSQmctjbf6dMGJql gCXGwlsTbjPOSmNT+/X2Uvf1BlplwqAMDghEuFHsjshlypz1NEg94ri2K9N1VrBs
    +iAv
    -----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

Additional Resources:

Apache Tomcat 6.0 SSL Configuration HOW-TO

CSR Legend

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...

  • www.domain.com
  • owa.domain.net
  • secure.domain.ca
  • *.domain.com (for wildcard SSL)

Organization (O)

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

Country (C)

The two-letter ISO Country Code abbreviation for your country. Example: US, CA, GB (must be two-letters)

Email

Any email address. This field is arbitrary but must be filled in. GeoTrust will not use this email address to process your order. Example: user@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.

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