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Custom SSL Certificate

### IMPORTANT:

To try and make the filenames below a little easier to work with, they were changed in version 8.5. If you are using version 8.4 or older, click the Show Older Names button below to show the filenames that apply to your software version.

Documentation currently showing: Showing v8.5 and newer filenames

File TypeNew NameOld Name
Private KeySSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pemCLIENT_PRIVATE.pem
SSL CertificateSSL_CERT.pemSIGNED_CLIENT_CERT.pem

PA Server Monitor can use your own SSL certificate instead of the default self-signed certificate.

If at any time there are any problems with certificates, you can run the C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\000_RESET_CERTIFICATES.cmd file (run as an administrator), and then restart the service. New certificates will be created. If things are really messed up, you can delete the C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA folder completely and restart the service to create a new CA folder.

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Note that although the commands are shown on multiple lines, this is simply because there isn't space to show the full command one on line. But the text in the command boxes below should be run as a single command.

Use your own existing certificate

  1. You will need to get your certificate into PEM format if it isn't already. There are a number of utilities that can do this that you can find on the Internet. Try searching for something like 'convert {your cert type} to PEM'. Note that .pem, .crt, .cer, and .key are often used interchangably. If you look at the file with a text editor and see readable text, you have a .pem file.

    For example, to convert a .PFX file using OpenSSL (which is in the C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor folder) run the following:

    Tell OpenSSL where to find its configuration file (do NOT use quotes, even if there are spaces in the path):
    set OPENSSL_CONF=C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\openssl.cnf
    The conversion command:
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\openssl.exe" pkcs12 -in "C:\My Files\myCert.pfx" -out "C:\My Files\myNewCert.pem"
    You will be prompted for the existing private key password, and then you'll be prompted for a new password for the output file's private key.

    Look at the resulting .pem file in a text editor -- you'll see there are two sections. Split this into two separate files, like below:

    SSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pem file contents:
    -----BEGIN ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY-----
    MIIFDjBABgkfhkiG9w0BBQgwMzAbBgkqh1iG9w0BBQwwDgQIvSKYYbDSkPICAggA
    ... many more lines like those above ...
    4pvqu3DGh93oIV7YlC1Gn4BY/2jVd2F1NxRjIxvDsllhDvvFFMUWC41Xc5pZ6d9U
    pyY=
    -----END ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY-----

    SSL_CERT.pem file contents:
    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    MIIFPzCCBCFgAwIBAgIS3SGXUxVkgYN9r5PZvhFNF148MA0GCSqGSIb3DQ5BBQUA
    ... many more lines like those above ...
    ITywFF+LW4hdG5TYw2smJmbBgkfbW7nusufXAzg7I0E5z2HyxRmLm+Eees4J00mo
    f6jn
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    You don't need the other lines that are in the file.
    ionicons-v5-h

    If you want to include a full certificate chain in SSL_CERT.pem, make sure that:

    • The certifcates are listed in the order of Application Certificate, Intermediate Certificate(s), Root Certificate
    • There needs to be a blank line between each --END CERTIFICATE-- and --BEGIN CERTIFICATE-- section

    Thank you Martin for these tips :)

  2. Save the certificate's private key file to
    C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\SSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pem
  3. Save the SSL certificate to
    C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\SSL_CERT.pem
  4. PA Server Monitor will need to know the password for the private key. You can specify this by running the following command:
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\diag.exe" /SETCONFIG=SSLCertPKPW:your-certificate-password

    The above command will encrypt and store the password with a machine-specific key in the registry.

    If you ever need to erase the password (such as if you delete the CA folder and go back to the self-signed certificate), run:
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\diag.exe" /SETCONFIG=SSLCertPKPW:
  5. Restart the PA Server Monitor service and it will now be using your SSL certificate.

Create your own new certificate

  1. Go to the C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA folder
  2. Create a folder inside CA named NewCert.
  3. Copy Client.cnf from CA into NewCert
  4. Open NewCert\Client.cnf in a text editor. Go to the PACA_dn section near the bottom and edit the values as you like (C=Country, ST=State/Province, L=City).

    If you want to change the private key file's password, change the entries on the lines for input_password and output_password.

    Change the CN value to the hostname of your server. Some SSL certificate providers expect to see a dot in the name, so the public name of your server would best (something like monitor.mydomain.com).

    Note that depending on the SSL provider that you use, the subjectAltName field might be ignored which is where additional machine names are mentioned.
  5. Open a command prompt and change directory to
    C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert
  6. Run the following to tell OpenSSL where to find your configuration file (do NOT use quotes, even if there are spaces in the path):
    set OPENSSL_CONF=C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert\client.cnf

    Then run the following to actually create the Certificate Signing Request file (also known as a CSR file). DO use quotes if there are spaces in the path: (note the below is all on one line)
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\openssl.exe" req -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert\SSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pem" -keyform PEM -out "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert\SSL_CERT_CSR.csr" -outform PEM -rand "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\openssl.exe"
  7. This will create two new files:
    SSL_CERT_CSR.csr -- this is the Certificate Signing Request file that you will send/copy to the SSL certificate vendor (like Verisign, GlobalSign, etc)
    SSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pem -- this is the private key file for this certificate. This file will need to remain on the server, but should be kept private.
  8. To see what you are sending to the SSL provider, run:
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\openssl.exe" req -in "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert\SSL_CERT_CSR.csr" -noout -text
  9. After sending SSL_CERT_CSR.csr to a certificate provider, you will get back a certificate file. Save the file (in PEM format) to:
    C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\SSL_CERT.pem
  10. ionicons-v5-h

    If you want to include a full certificate chain in SSL_CERT.pem, make sure that:

    • The certifcates are listed in the order of Application Certificate, Intermediate Certificate(s), Root Certificate
    • There needs to be a blank line between each --END CERTIFICATE-- and --BEGIN CERTIFICATE-- section

    Thank you Martin for these tips :)

  11. When the above file is copied, also copy
    C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\CA\NewCert\SSL_PRIVATE_KEY.pem
    into the CA folder.
  12. PA Server Monitor will need to know the password for the private key. This password can be found in the client.cnf file on the line with input_password. You can give PA Server Monitor the password by running the following command:
    "C:\Program Files\PA Server Monitor\diag.exe" /SETCONFIG=SSLCertPKPW:private-key-pass-phrase

    The above command will encrypt and store the password with a machine-specific key in the registry.
  13. You can optionally delete the NewCert folder at this point.
  14. Restart the PA Server Monitor service and it will now be using your SSL certificate.


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