Configure Apache With Self-Signed TLS/SSL Certificate on Ubuntu 16.04

Step 1: Generating the certificate

First, let’s create a place to store the file.

mkdir ~/certificates
cd ~/certificates

Generate CSR and private key.

openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout apache.key -out apache.crt -days 365 -nodes

It will ask for information for the certificate request. Complete with the appropriate information.

Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]: US
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]: FL
Locality Name (eg, city) []: Miami
Organization Name (eg, company) [My Company]: My Company
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:

Common name should be your domain name or the server’s IP address. Also, fill in your email.

Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) []: 203.0.113.122
Email Address []:webmaster@example.com

Now, move the certificate to Apache configuration folder.

mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl
mv ~/certificates/* /etc/apache2/ssl/.

The certificate is ready! Next, we will prepare Apache to work with the certificate.

Step 2: Firewall configuration

We have to make sure TCP port 443 is open. This port is used in SSL connections instead of port 80. In this tutorial, we will be using UFW.
Make sure UFW is enabled.

sudo ufw enable

Now allow the predefined Apache settings for the firewall.

sudo ufw allow 'Apache Full'

By typing “sudo ufw status”, you can see a list of the current rules. Your configuration should resemble this:

To Action From
-- ------ ----
Apache Full ALLOW Anywhere
OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere
Apache Full (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)

You should also allow OpenSSH here for future connections.

sudo ufw allow 'OpenSSH'

Step 3: Apache virtual host configuration

Navigate to the default Apache site config directory.

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

This file tells the server where to look for the SSL certificate. With the comments removed, it should look like the following config.

<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>

</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Edit this line:

ServerAdmin email@example.net

Add this right below the ServerAdmin line:

ServerName ADD_YOUR_IP_OR_DOMAIN_NAME_HERE

Now, edit these lines with our certificate location:

SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.key

Our final file should resemble this:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost _default_:443>
ServerAdmin email@example.net
ServerName 203.0.113.122

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 /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
</Directory>

</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

Save and close the file.

Step 4: Enabling Apache SSL module

Enable the SSL module by typing:

sudo a2enmod ssl

Now enable the site we have just edited:

sudo a2ensite default-ssl.conf

Restart Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

Let’s access the new secure website! Open it in your browser (make sure you type https://).

https://YOUR_SERVER_IP

Your browser will warn you that the certificate is invalid, as we expected. This happens because the certificate is not signed. Follow the steps offered by your browser to proceed to your site.

Step 5: Redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS (Optional)

Open the Apache default virtual host file:

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf

Add this line inside the <VirtualHost *:80> tag:

Redirect / https://YOUR_SERVER_IP_OR_DOMAIN/

Reload Apache configuration:

sudo service apache2 reload

All website traffic will now automatically redirect to HTTPS.

Src: https://www.vultr.com/docs/configure-apache-with-select-signed-tls-ssl-certificate-on-ubuntu-16-04

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