Apache OpenSSL

Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using Apache OpenSSL

A CSR is a file containing your certificate application information, including your Public Key. Generate your CSR and then copy and paste the CSR file into the web form in the enrollment process.

To generate a pair of private key and public Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for a web server, “server”, use the following command:

openssl req -new -nodes -keyout myserver.key -out server.csr

This creates two files. The file myserver.key contains a private key; do not disclose this file to anyone. Carefully protect the private key. In particular, be sure to backup the private key, as there is no means to recover it should it be lost. The private key is used as input in the command to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). You will now be asked to enter details to be entered into your CSR. What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.

For some fields there will be a default value, If you enter ‘.’, the field will be left blank.

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]: US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]: Your State
Locality Name (eg, city) []: Your City
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]: Your Company Name
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []: IT
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []: yourdomain.com
Email Address []:

Please enter the following 'extra' attributes to be sent with your certificate request

A challenge password []:(leave this blank)

Use the name of the web server as the Common Name (CN). If the domain name is mydomain.com append the domain to the hostname (use the fully qualified domain name).

The fields email address, optional company name and challenge password can be left blank for a web server certificate.

Your CSR will now have been created. Open the server.csr in a text editor and copy and paste the contents into the online enrollment form when requested.