How to Generate Certificate Signing Request (CSR) in Stronghold Server


This document provides instructions for generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for Stronghold.  If you are not able to use these instructions for your server, RapidSSL recommends you to contact the server vendor or the organization, which supports Stronghold.

NOTE: To generate a CSR, you will need to create a key pair for your server. These two items are a digital certificate key pair and cannot be separated. If you lose your public/private key file or your password and generate a new one, your SSL Certificate will no longer match.

Stronghold keys and certificates are managed through three scripts: genkey, getca and genreq. These are part of the normal Stronghold distribution. Keys and certificates are stored in the directory $SSLTOP/private/, where SSLTOP is typically /usr/local/ssl. To generate a key pair and CSR for your server:

To generate a key pair and CSR, perform following steps:

NOTE: All certificates that will expire after October 2013 must have a 2048 bit key size.

1.     Run genkey, specifying the name of the host or virtual host: genkey hostname.

2.     The genkey script displays the filenames and locations of the key file and CSR file it will generate:  

Key file: /usr/local/www/sslhostname.key 

CSR file: /usr/local/www/sslhostname.cert 

NOTE: If you already have a key for your server, run genreq [servername] to generate only the CSR. 

3.      Press Enter. The genkey script reminds you to be sure you are not overwriting an existing key pair and certificate.

4.      When prompted, enter a key size in bits, which must be at least 2048 bits.

5.      When prompted, enter random key strokes. Stop when the counter reaches zero and genkey beeps

This random data to create a unique public and private key pair.

6.      When prompted, enter y to create the key pair and CSR.

7.      Select RapidSSL as your CA. 

8.      Enter all of the required information:

- Country Name (C): Use the two-letter code without punctuation for country, for example: US or CA.

- State or Province (S): Spell out the state completely; do not abbreviate the state or province name, for example: California.

- Locality or City (L): The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Berkeley.

- Organization (O): If your company or department has an &, @, or any other symbol using the shift key in its name, you must spell out the symbol or omit it to enroll, for example: XY & Z Corporation would be XYZ Corportation or XY and Z Corportation.

- Organizational Unit (OU): This field is the name of the department or organization unit making the request.

- Common Name (CN): The Common Name is the Host + Domain Name. 

NOTE: RapidSSL certificates can only be used on Web servers using the Common Name specified during enrollment. For example, a certificate for the domain "" will receive a warning if accessing a site named "" or "", because "" and "" are different from "". 

9.     Press Enter.

10.    Back up your key file and CSR on a removable media and store it in a secure location. 

If you lose your private key or forget the password, you will not be able to install your SSL Certificate and will need to request and purchase a new one from RapidSSL.

11.    You have just created a key pair and a CSR. To copy and paste the information into the enrollment form, open the file in a Notepad or Vi that does not add extra characters.

12.    Go to Enrollment.  

Contact Information

During the verification process, RapidSSL may need to contact your organization. Be sure to provide an email address, phone number and fax number that will be checked and responded to quickly. These fields are not part of the certificate.




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