Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Generation Instructions for Stronghold Server

Solution ID:    SO13986    Updated:    07/23/2013


This document provides instructions for generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for Stronghold.  If you are not able to use these instructions for your server, RapidSSL recommends you to contact the server vendor or the organization, which supports Stronghold.

NOTE: To generate a CSR, you will need to create a key pair for your server. These two items are a digital certificate key pair and cannot be separated. If you lose your public/private key file or your password and generate a new one, your SSL Certificate will no longer match.

Stronghold keys and certificates are managed through three scripts: genkey, getca and genreq. These are part of the normal Stronghold distribution. Keys and certificates are stored in the directory $SSLTOP/private/, where SSLTOP is typically /usr/local/ssl. To generate a key pair and CSR for your server:

To generate a key pair and CSR, perform following steps:

NOTE: All certificates that will expire after October 2013 must have a 2048 bit key size.

    1.    Run genkey, specifying the name of the host or virtual host: genkey hostname.
    2.    The genkey script displays the filenames and locations of the key file and CSR file it will generate:  
            Key file: /usr/local/www/sslhostname.key 
            CSR file: /usr/local/www/sslhostname.cert 

            NOTE: If you already have a key for your server, run genreq [servername] to generate only the CSR. 
    3.    Press Enter. The genkey script reminds you to be sure you are not overwriting an existing
           key pair and certificate.
    4.    When prompted, enter a key size in bits, which must be at least 2048 bits.
    5.    When prompted, enter random key strokes. Stop when the counter reaches zero and genkey beeps
           This random data to create a unique public and private key pair.
    6.    When prompted, enter y to create the key pair and CSR.
    7.    Select RapidSSL as your CA.
    8.    Enter all of the required information:

  • 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: California.
  • Locality or City (L): The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Berkeley.
  • 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.
    NOTE: RapidSSL certificates can only be used on Web servers using the Common Name
    specified during enrollment. For example, a certificate for the domain "domain.com" will
    receive a warning if accessing a site named "www.domain.com" or "secure.domain.com",
    because "www.domain.com" and "secure.domain.com" are different from "domain.com".

    9.    Press Enter.
  10.    Back up your key file and CSR on a removable media and store it in a secure location. 
           If you lose your private key or forget the password, you will not be able to install your 
           SSL Certificate and will need to request and purchase a new one from RapidSSL.
  11.    You have just created a key pair and a CSR. To copy and paste the information into
           the enrollment form, open the file in a Notepad or Vi that does not add extra characters.
  12.    Go to Enrollment.

Contact Information

            During the verification process, RapidSSL may need to contact your organization. Be sure to
            provide an email address, phone number and fax number that will be checked and responded
            to quickly. These fields are not part of the certificate.

Once the SSL certificate has been issued, refer to this link for installation instructions: SO19318


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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