C2Net Stronghold

Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using C2Net Stronghold

Please note, as of January 2011, all CSR’s must be generated with a key length of 2048

Note: 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:

  1. Run genkey, specifying the name of the host or virtual host: genkey hostname. 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.
  2. Press Enter. The genkey script reminds you to be sure you are not overwriting an existing key pair and certificate.
  3. When prompted, enter a key size in bits. It is recommended that you use the largest key size available: 2048.
  4. When prompted, enter random key strokes. Stop when the counter reaches zero and genkey beeps. This random data is used to create a unique public and private key pair.
  5. When prompted, enter ‘y’ to create the key pair and CSR.
    • For your CA select ‘Other’.
    • Enter the two-letter country code for your country. You must use the correct ISO country code, other abbreviations will not be recognized. For example the correct code for the United Kingdom is GB, not UK.
    • Enter the full name of your state or province. Do not abbreviate.
    • Enter the name of your city, town, or other locality.
    • Enter the name of your organization.
    • Enter the name of your unit within the specified organization.
    • Enter your web site’s fully-qualified name. For example www.company.com. This is also known as your site’s common name.
    • When you have finished entering the CSR data, genkey automatically creates the CSR.

Back up your key file and CSR on a floppy disk and store the disk in a secure location. If you lose your private key or forget the password, you will not be able to install your certificate.