Monthly Archives: February 2017

SSL protocol error 525 for nginx solved


I’ve hit an unusual error the other day – I had to configure couple of SSL virtual hosts on Nginx web server. I didn’t expect to see any problems with that – it’s really simple and very well documented. The purpose was to switch Cloudflare CDN crypto option from “Flexible” to “Full”, to avoid unencrypted connection between Cloudflare and the server itself. The tricky part is that you have to have SSL virtual host configured on the server side before doing redirection otherwise you will get redirect loop.
I configured both of the SSL virtual hosts (thought second virtual host with ssl_certificate and ssl_certificate_key commented out) and tried to modify Cloudflare configuration – and then I’ve got 525 protocol error. I turned off the caching and tried to investigate.

I tried to use OpenSSL to troubleshoot SSL connection with “s_client” option, trying to connect to each SSL virtual host directly, bypassing Cloudflare and I saw an interesting picture

and more verbosely

And then it hit me – I’ve turned on SSL mode on the virtual host and not specified nor certificate no key, then I’ve configured another SSL virtual host with valid certificate and key configured but the SSL is running on the single IP so it’s in SNI mode, sends me an EMPTY SSL SNI negotiation start. In order to avoid the problem I need to have valid certificates for ALL my SNI SSL virtual hosts. After I altered my configuration the problem was fixed.

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