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Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using Apache mod_ssl/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 webform in the enrollment process:

Generate keys and certificate:

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

openssl req -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout myserver.key -out server.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]: AT
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]: UPPER AUSTRIA
Locality Name (eg, city) []: LINZ
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]: JOHANNES KEPLER UNIVERSITY
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []: IM
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []: mysubdomain.JKU.AT

The following question are optional:

Email Address []:


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

A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Use the name of the webserver as Common Name (CN).
If the domain name (Common 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 webserver 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.

Alternatively one may issue the following command:


openssl req -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout myserver.key -out server.csr
-subj "/C=AT/ST=Upper Austria/L=Linz/O=Johannes Kepler University /OU=IM/CN=mysubdomain.jku.at"



Note: If the "-nodes" is inputted the key will not be encrypted with a DES pass phrase.


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