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How do I generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) under OpenSSL?


  • Call the openssl program to create the prompt:

openssl req -nodes -new -newkey rsa:2048 -out csr.pem

This generates a private key and a corresponding certificate request. The following output now appears on your screen:

# Generating a 2048 bit RSA private key
# ...............................................++++++
# ............................++++++
# writing new private key to 'privkey.pem'
# -----
# You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
# into your certificate request.
# What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
# There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
# For some fields there will be a default value,
# If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
# -----

  • You will then be asked questions about the registration information.

- Enter the 2-digit country code (DE = Germany).

# Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]: DE

- Enter your federal state, e.g. Berlin.

# State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]: Berlin

- Specify your city.

# Locality Name (eg, city) []: Berlin

- Enter your name or company name.

# Organization Name (eg, company) [Sample company GmbH]: Example AG.

- Specify the responsible department (if any).

# Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []: ---

- Specify the exact domain name to be protected by the certificate. Important: The certificate is then only valid for this entry.

# Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []: example.com

- Enter the e-mail address of the person responsible.

# Email Address []: hostmaster@example.org

- The following information is optional.

# Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
# to be sent with your certificate request
# A challenge password []:
# An optional company name []:

  • Now the files privkey.pem and csr.pem were created, which contain the private key and the certificate request.

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