Generating a Certificate Request to Send to a CA

Once you have created a key, the next step is to generate a certificate request which you will need to send to the CA of your choice. Type in the following command:

make certreq

Your system will display the following output and will ask you for your password (unless you disabled the password option):

umask 77 ; \
/usr/bin/openssl req -new -key /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key/server.key 
-out /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.csr/server.csr
Using configuration from /usr/share/ssl/openssl.cnf
Enter PEM pass phrase:

Type in the password that you chose when you were generating your key. Your system will display some instructions and then ask for a series of responses from you. Your inputs will be incorporated into the certificate request. The display, with example responses, will look like this:

You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
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]:North Carolina
Locality Name (eg, city) []:Durham
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits]:Test Company
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Testing
Common Name (your name or server's hostname) []
Email Address []
Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

The default answers appear in brackets [] immediately after each request for input. For example, the first information required is the name of the country where the certificate will be used, shown like the following:

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:

The default input, in brackets, is AU. To accept the default, just press [Enter], or fill in your country's two letter code.

You will have to type in the rest of the inputs (State or Province Name, Locality Name, Organization Name, Organizational Unit Name, Common Name, and Email address). All of these should be self-explanatory, but you need to follow these guidelines:

When you have finished entering your information, a file named server.csr will be created. This file is your certificate request, ready to send to your CA.

After you have decided on a CA, follow the instructions they provide on their website. Their instructions will tell you how to send your certificate request, any other documentation that they require, and your payment to them.

After you have fulfilled the CA's requirements, they will send a certificate to you (usually by email). Save (or cut and paste) the certificate that they send you as /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.crt/server.crt.