Sunday, 7 July 2013

Ubuntu Server: HTTPS Configuration

The mod_ssl module adds an important feature to the Apache2 server - the ability to encrypt communications. Thus, when your browser is communicating using SSL, the https:// prefix is used at the beginning of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in the browser navigation bar.

The mod_ssl module is available in apache2-common package. Execute the following command from a terminal prompt to enable the mod_ssl module:
sudo a2enmod ssl

There is a default HTTPS configuration file in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl. In order for Apache2 to provide HTTPS, a certificate and key file are also needed. The default HTTPS configuration will use a certificate and key generated by the ssl-cert package. They are good for testing, but the auto-generated certificate and key should be replaced by a certificate specific to the site or server. For information on generating a key and obtaining a certificate see the section called “Certificates”

To configure Apache2 for HTTPS, enter the following:
sudo a2ensite default-ssl
The directories /etc/ssl/certs and /etc/ssl/private are the default locations. If you install the certificate and key in another directory make sure to change SSLCertificateFile andSSLCertificateKeyFile appropriately.

With Apache2 now configured for HTTPS, restart the service to enable the new settings:
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
Depending on how you obtained your certificate you may need to enter a passphrase when Apache2starts.

You can access the secure server pages by typing https://your_hostname/url/ in your browser address bar.

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