Installation Instructions for Apache

Solution ID:    SO6252    Updated:    07/27/2016


This document provides instructions for installing SSL Certificates for Apache. If these instructions do not work for installation on the server, RapidSSL recommends that the vendor of the software or an organization that supports Apache.

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Step 1: Obtain and install the SSL certificate

  1. Download the server & intermediate certificate.
  2. Copy the certificate files into the directory that will hold the certificates.

    For example: /usr/local/ssl/crt/

Step 2: Configure the server

Note:  Some instances of Apache contain both a httpd.conf and ssl.conf file. Please update the httpd.conf or the ssl.conf with the below directives. Do not enter both as there will be a conflict and Apache may not start.

Note: Apache version 2.4.8 allowed the server certificate to be concatenated with the intermediate.  Please click here for documentation on this alternative installation process.

  1. Open the .conf file in a plaintext editor such as VI or Notepad.
  2. In the Virtual Host section of the httpd.conf or ssl.conf file, locate or add the directives below.

    SSLCertificateFile /[path]/[server certificate file]

    SSLCertificateKeyFile /[path]/[private key file]

    SSLCertificateChainFile /[path]/[intermediate certificate file]

    Note: Some versions of Apache will not accept the SSLCertificateChainFile directive. Try using SSLCACertificateFile instead.

  3. The VirtualHosts in the httpd.conf file should be configured as follows:

    <VirtualHost [IP ADDRESS]:443>
    ServerAdmin [admin email address]             
    DocumentRoot /[path]/[to document root]
    ServerName [site address]
    ErrorLog /path/[error log]
    SSLEngine on
    SSLProtocol all
    SSLCertificateFile /[path]/[server certificate file]
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /[path]/[private key file]
    SSLCertificateChainFile /[path]/[intermediate certificate file]
    ServerPath /[path]
    <Directory "/path]">
  4. Save the httpd.conf or ssl.conf file and restart Apache. This can most likely do so by using the apachectl script: 

    apachectl stop  
    apachectl startssl

To verify the certificate is installed correctly, use the Installation Checker

           For more information, see the Apache Support website. 


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