Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Generation Instructions for Nginx Server

Solution ID:    SO17540    Updated:    07/27/2016


This document provides instructions for generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for Nginx Server. If this document can not be used with the server, RapidSSL recommends contacting a company that supports Nginx.

NOTE: To generate a CSR, you will need to create a key pair for your server.  If the private key file or pass phrase is lost a new private key & CSR will need to be generated and the certificate reissued using the new CSR.


To generate a CSR on Nginx, please do the following:

  1. Login to your server via your terminal client (ssh). The first step will be generating the private key.  At the prompt, type:

    openssl genrsa -out [private-key-file.key] 2048
  2. Once the private key has been generated, run the command below to generate the CSR.

    openssl req -new -key [private-key-file.key] -out [CSR-file.txt]

    - Country Name (C): Use the two-letter code without punctuation for country, for example: US or CA.
    - State or Province (S): Spell out the state completely; do not abbreviate the state or province name, for example: Oregon.
    - Locality or City (L): The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Eugene.
    - Organization (O): If your company or department has an &, @, or any other symbol using the shift key in its name, you must spell out the symbol or omit it to enroll, for example:  XY & Z Corporation would be XYZ Corportation or XY and Z Corportation.
    - Organizational Unit (OU): This field is the name of the department or organization unit making the request.
    - Common Name (CN): The Common Name is the Host + Domain Name.  For example www.bbtest.net or secure.bbtest.net
    - Optional Fields:  When promted, please do not enter your email address, challenge password or an optional company name when generating the CSR.  Pressing Enter/Return will leave these fields blank.
  3. Your CSR file will then be created.
  4. Proceed to Enrollment and paste the CSR in the enrollment form when required.

Once the certificate has been issued, refer to this link for installation instructions.


RapidSSL has made efforts to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this document. However, RapidSSL makes no warranties of any kind (whether express, implied or statutory) with respect to the information contained herein. RapidSSL assumes no liability to any party for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) caused by any errors, omissions, or statements of any kind contained in this document.  Further, RapidSSL assumes no liability arising from the application or use of the product or service described herein and specifically disclaims any representation that the products or services described herein do not infringe upon any existing or future intellectual property rights. Nothing herein grants the reader any license to make, use, or sell equipment or products constructed in accordance with this document. Finally, all rights and privileges related to any intellectual property right described herein are vested in the patent, trademark, or service mark owner, and no other person may exercise such rights without express permission, authority, or license secured from the patent, trademark, or service mark owner. RapidSSL reserves the right to make changes to any information herein without further notice.

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