How to configure SSL on localhost. Ubuntu Apache2

Prerequisites

You should have the Apache web server installed on Ubuntu.

Enable the apache module by typing:

sudo a2enmod ssl

After you have enabled SSL, you’ll have to restart the web server for the change to be recognized:

sudo service apache2 restart

Step 1 – Creating the SSL Certificate

TLS/SSL works by using a combination of a public certificate and a private key. The SSL key is kept secret on the server. It is used to encrypt content sent to clients. The SSL certificate is publicly shared with anyone requesting the content. It can be used to decrypt the content signed by the associated SSL key.

We can create a self-signed key and certificate pair with OpenSSL in a single command:

sudo openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key -out /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt

You will be asked a series of questions. Before we go over that, let’s take a look at what is happening in the command we are issuing:

openssl: This is the basic command line tool for creating and managing OpenSSL certificates, keys, and other files.

  • -x509: This further modifies the previous subcommand by telling the utility that we want to make a self-signed certificate instead of generating a certificate signing request, as would normally happen.
  • -nodes: This tells OpenSSL to skip the option to secure our certificate with a passphrase. We need Apache to be able to read the file, without user intervention, when the server starts up. A passphrase would prevent this from happening because we would have to enter it after every restart.
  • -days 365: This option sets the length of time that the certificate will be considered valid. We set it for one year here.
  • -newkey rsa:2048: This specifies that we want to generate a new certificate and a new key at the same time. We did not create the key that is required to sign the certificate in a previous step, so we need to create it along with the certificate. The rsa:2048 portion tells it to make an RSA key that is 2048 bits long.
  • -keyout: This line tells OpenSSL where to place the generated private key file that we are creating.
  • -out: This tells OpenSSL where to place the certificate that we are creating.

As we stated above, these options will create both a key file and a certificate. We will be asked a few questions about our server in order to embed the information correctly in the certificate.

Fill out the prompts appropriately.

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:New York
Locality Name (eg, city) []:New York City
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:Your Company
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:Department of Kittens
Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []:your_domain.com
Email Address []:your_email@domain.com

Both of the files you created will be placed in the appropriate subdirectories under /etc/ssl.

Step 2 – Configuring Apache to Use SSL

Open the file with root privileges now:

 sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf

With the comments removed, the file looks something like this:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
    <VirtualHost _default_:443>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
        DocumentRoot /var/www/html
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
        SSLEngine on
        SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
        SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
        <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        </FilesMatch>
        <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
                        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        </Directory>
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
                        nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
                        downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown
    </VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

In the end, it will look something like this. The entries were modified from the original file:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
    <VirtualHost _default_:443>
        ServerAdmin admin@example.com
        ServerName localhost
        ServerAlias localhost
        DocumentRoot /var/www/html
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
        SSLEngine on
        SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt
        SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key
        <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
            SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        </FilesMatch>
        <Directory /var/www/html>
            SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
            DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
            AllowOverride All
            Order allow,deny
            Allow from all
        </Directory>
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
                        nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
                        downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown
    </VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Save and exit the file when you are finished. Now that we have configured our SSL-enabled virtual host, we need to enable it.

sudo ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/

We then need to restart Apache to load our new virtual host file:

sudo service apache2 restart

That’s it now run your site with https..!!

How to configure SSL on localhost. Ubuntu Apache2

4 thoughts on “How to configure SSL on localhost. Ubuntu Apache2

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