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November 16, 2011

Setting an SSL Certificate up on ITS servers

Well, the below post was informative for me but not at all the right way to set up SSL on an ITS server. Just between me and the internet, my efforts may have brought down the ITS servers as I received confirmation of my certificate seconds prior to the linked outage. Awesome.

Future reference, just email webmasters@umich.edu to request a NEW certificate. Tell them to disable cosign and to have the https site load content from the same location as the http. Simple as that. Sheesh.

This may morph into a large post or become broken into smaller ones. We'll see.

1. Request an SSL Certificate at the Wasup Portal. Self-explanatory for the most part except...

- Creating the Certificate Signing Request
The Wasup service directs you to Instant SSL Comodo for help, which I found to be not helpful. I recommend going to Digicert to generate the terminal command you need to run to generate your CSR.

Logon to your webserver via ssh. Change to your Private directory and run this command.

% openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -out umbs_lsa_umich_edu.csr -keyout umbs_lsa_umich_edu.key -subj "/C=US/ST=Michigan/L=Ann Arbor/O=University of Michigan/CN=umbs.lsa.umich.edu"

This generates two files:
umbs_lsa_umich_edu.csr - copy and paste everything from this file into the wasup request form
umbs_lsa_umich_edu.key - remove this from the web server and put it somewhere very safe. I committed it to memory and swallowed the file to destroy it. Steel. Trap.

Interesting command to backout a CSR:
% openssl req -in umbs_lsa_umich_edu.csr -noout -text

If you find SSL certificates confusing (as I do) check out this FAQ page for a layman's overview.

Posted by kkwaiser at November 16, 2011 02:47 PM

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