Tag Archives: ssl

Sysadmin: Virtualmin and Letsencrypt integration


If you are using webmin excellent system for managing virtual host configuration it would make perfect sense to integrate with it the popular certificate authority Letsencrypt that issues completely free SSL certificates.
There are few initial steps that has to be made nside Webmin in order to make it utilize Letsencrypt SSL certificate issuing process for configured virtual hosts. I have successufully configured and used Webmin version 1.831 and certbot-auto 0.12. YMMV.
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Sysadmin: How to install Letsencrypt on CentOS


Since Letsencrypt started their services life became much easier (or less). You can get free valid and secure SSL certificates that are recognized by majority of browsers, but for that you need to do some initial configuration and keep in mind that if you don’t renew all these nice certificates will turn into pumpkin after 2 month.
Here is the one liner command to install certbot-auto in CentOS 6 (requires additional Python 2.7 from EPEL repo)

Almost, the same for the CentOS 7 just without Python.

Here is how quickly request/retrieve certificate for your website on domain.com that is hosted under /home/domain/public_html from command line (presuming that the site is answering on this server already e.g. DNS and web server configured properly)

If the request was successful your new certificates could be accessible from /etc/letsencrypt/live/domain.com, where
privkey.pem – is the certificate key, cert.pem – bare certificate fullchain.pem – certificate along with the whole CA chain.
Don’t forget that these are valid for 2 month only. You’ll need to run

after that to get valid certificates.

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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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Centos: How to fine tune your Apache SSL server


The fine tuning of the SSL server side configuration is slow and tedious but necessary procedure. It’s always good to have your SSL site to conform the most latest security standards. It boosts ego and makes customer happy too. It turns out that all you need for that is already at your disposal the point is to properly configure it.
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