Install SSL on Ubuntu and Enable HTTPS

Lotts docs out there, some are better than others, but most are a bit confusing.
Just dropping this here for potential future need…
The 2 best I came across are:


I found that steps 1-4 in the first guide are easy to follow and will work well to generate your keys.
Then follow the second guide to enable SSL on your Apache and set things up.

For easier review:

Step 0: Install openssl using apt-get

Step 1: Generate a Private Key –

openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024

Step 2: Generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) –

openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr

When asked for Common Name – make sure to fill either public IP or full qualified domain name (

Step 3: Remove Passphrase from Key –

cp server.key
openssl rsa -in -out server.key

Step 4: Generating a Self-Signed Certificate –

openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt

Step 5: Copy the server.crt and server.key files into position –

cp server.key /etc/apache2/ssl
cp server.crt /etc/apache2/ssl

Step 6: Enable ssl –

a2enmod ssl

Step 7: Create a stub SSL conf. file (if needed) and establish a necessary symlink –

7.1 – If using an Ubuntu prior to ~10.04:

cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl

Then symlink to sites-enabled:

ln -s /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default-ssl

Step 8: Set up the SSL document root –

cd /var
mkdir www-ssl

Step 9: Configure virtual hosts –

sudo su
cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default default_original

(Note: If using Ubuntu 10.04+ you may want to backup the original SSL conf also):

cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl default-ssl_original

Now you need to declare the IP of your box (or FQDN/DNS name) and document roots you created in a previous step.

To configure HTTP over port 80 (edit /etc/apache2/sites-available/default) and add/replace (replace):

ServerName {Your IP or FQDN}:80

To configure HTTP over port 443 (edit /etc/apache2/sites-available/default) and add/replace (replace):

ServerName {Your IP or FQDN}:443

Step 10: Make sure  Apache listens to 443 –

Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf and verify the following exist (or add it):

Listen 443

Step 11: Make sure the SSL engine is on –

Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf and verify the following exist (or add it):

SSLEngine On
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/server.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/server.key

Step 12: restart apache –

Verify your changes are valid:

apache2ctl configtest

Restart Apache:

apache2ctl restart


Done. you can browse to: .

Obviously this will produce a warning on the browser side, since the certificate is self-signed. So if that’s important, make sure to purchase a signature from Verisign or simliar.