Chapter 14. Apache Secure Server Configuration


This chapter provides basic information on an Apache server with the mod_ssl security module enabled to use the OpenSSL library and toolkit. The combination of these three components, provided with Red Hat Linux, will be referred to in this chapter as the secure Web server or just as the secure server.

The mod_ssl module is a security module for the Apache Web server. The mod_ssl module uses the tools provided by the OpenSSL Project to add a very important feature to Apache — the ability to encrypt communications. In contrast, using regular HTTP, communications between a browser and a Web server are sent in plaintext, which could be intercepted and read by someone along the route between the browser and the server.

This chapter is not meant to be complete and exclusive documentation for any of these programs. When possible, this guide will point you to appropriate places where you can find more in-depth documentation on particular subjects.

This chapter will show you how to install these programs. You will also learn the steps necessary to generate a private key and a certificate request, how to generate your own self-signed certificate, and how to install a certificate to use with your secure Web server.