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Certificate request with OpenSSL

To request a client certificate with OpenSSL, you will have to use the same command than for a server certificate but with a different configuration file that allows to fill in optional fields that are mandatory for this kind of products.

  • Generate the key with the following command:
    openssl genrsa 2048 > yourkey.key
  • If you want this key to be protected by a password (that will be requested any time you'll restart Apache), add:

    "-des3"   after "genrsa").

Make a backup copy of the .key file!

  • Protect your file with:
    chmod 400 yourkey.key
  • Use this command to generate the CSR and indicate the CNF that you will have previously downloaded below:
    openssl req -new -key yourkey.key -config CNF_FILE_BELOW > yourkey.csr

Download the OpenSSL configuration file (right click, Save as) matching the client certificate you want to generate:
Consult these tips to easily and quickly generate a CSR with OpenSSL 0.9.7 or higher:

Server certificate:
openssl req -new -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout newkey.key -subj '/CN=www.my.dom/C=FR/ST=Calvados/L=Caen/O=MY COMPANY/OU=IT Department' -out mycsr.csr
Client certificate (with our configuration file):
openssl req -config openssl-dem-client-cert.cnf -nodes -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout mysuperkey.key -subj '/CN=LAST NAME first name/emailAddress=me@mycompany.com/O=MY COMPANY/streetAddress=2 rue de Paradis/L=Caen/postalCode=14000/ST=Calvados/C=FR' -out mysupercsr.csr

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