SSL Part 4 - Using Pre-Existing Keys and Certificates

If you already have an existing key and certificate (for example, if you are installing the secure server to replace another company's secure server product), you can probably be able to use your existing key and certificate with the secure server. In the following two situations, you are not able to use your existing key and certificate:


If you are changing your IP address or domain name — Certificates are issued for a particular IP address and domain name pair. You must get a new certificate if you are changing your IP address or domain name.

If you have a certificate from VeriSign and you are changing your server software — VeriSign is a widely used CA. If you already have a VeriSign certificate for another purpose, you may have been considering using your existing VeriSign certificate with your new secure server. However, you are not be allowed to because VeriSign issues certificates for one specific server software and IP address/domain name combination.

If you change either of those parameters (for example, if you previously used a different secure server product), the VeriSign certificate you obtained to use with the previous configuration will not work with the new configuration. You must obtain a new certificate.

If you have an existing key and certificate that you can use, you do not have to generate a new key and obtain a new certificate. However, you may need to move and rename the files which contain your key and certificate.

Move your existing key file to:


Move your existing certificate file to:


After you have moved your key and certificate, skip to Section 20.9 Testing The Certificate.

If you are upgrading from the Red Hat Secure Web Server, your old key (httpsd.key) and certificate (httpsd.crt) are located in /etc/httpd/conf/. Move and rename your key and certificate so that the secure server can use them. Use the following two commands to move and rename your key and certificate files:

mv /etc/httpd/conf/httpsd.key /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key/server.key
mv /etc/httpd/conf/httpsd.crt /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.crt/server.crt

Then start your secure server with the command:

/sbin/service httpd start

For a secure server, you are prompted to enter your passphrase. After you type it in and press [Enter], the server will start.

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