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Tiny CA - OpenSSL-CA

☰ Table of Content

Bite the bullet and create a Root CA for local network.


Background

As browsers are getting more secure and packed with more safeguards to prevent malicious actors from doing their biddings, they become less friendly with self-signed certificates. This is a pain in small labs and other wall off networks. While using http for non-prod/testing can be a solution, it is not ideal and can create other issues.

Goals

  • Create the simplest CA setup that can be recreated and thrown away at wish.
  • Create one wildcard server certificate for any servers in the network.

Fast Forward

The result is a simple script with an openssl config file that will generate a CA and a wildcard certificate.

GitHub: tiny_ca

WARNING: This is intended for testing/throw-away environment. Don’t use it for production.

Usage

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git clone https://github.com/J-Siu/tiny_ca.git
cd tiny_ca
chmod u+x cert-gen.sh
tiny_ca.sh <domain>

Output

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$ ./tiny_ca.sh local.local
--- Prepare directory
--- Generate Root Key and Certificate
Generating a RSA private key
...................................................................+++++
................................+++++
writing new private key to './ca/local.local/ca.local.local.key.pem'
-----

--- Generate Server Key
Generating RSA private key, 2048 bit long modulus (2 primes)
.........+++++
...........+++++
e is 65537 (0x010001)
--- Generate Server CSR
--- Generate Server Certificate
Using configuration from ./ca/local.local/ca.local.local.cnf
Check that the request matches the signature
Signature ok
Certificate Details:
        Serial Number: 4096 (0x1000)
        Validity
            Not Before: Feb  7 21:28:34 2020 GMT
            Not After : Feb  4 21:28:34 2030 GMT
        Subject:
            countryName               = CA
            stateOrProvinceName       = local.local
            organizationName          = local.local
            commonName                = *.local.local
        X509v3 extensions:
            X509v3 Basic Constraints:
                CA:FALSE
            Netscape Cert Type:
                SSL Server
            Netscape Comment:
                OpenSSL Generated Server Certificate
            X509v3 Subject Key Identifier:
                14:5F:04:EF:39:42:8F:A3:B5:C7:21:8D:9B:7A:D9:A4:20:FB:21:EF
            X509v3 Authority Key Identifier:
                keyid:7E:B0:D5:B2:44:2A:A6:7C:2C:CB:A6:D2:7E:42:EB:2F:25:50:3C:E1
                DirName:/C=CA/ST=local.local/O=local.local/CN=root
                serial:3C:1A:88:5F:B7:71:A5:DB:4F:99:E2:6F:1C:25:D7:5E:13:79:83:17

            X509v3 Key Usage: critical
                Digital Signature, Key Encipherment
            X509v3 Extended Key Usage:
                TLS Web Server Authentication
Certificate is to be certified until Feb  4 21:28:34 2030 GMT (3650 days)
Sign the certificate? [y/n]:

1 out of 1 certificate requests certified, commit? [y/n]Write out database with 1 new entries
Data Base Updated

--- CA Certificate:
./ca/local.local/ca.local.local.crt.pem
./ca/local.local/ca.local.local.crt.der
--- Server Certificate:
./srv/wildcard.local.local.key.pem
./srv/wildcard.local.local.crt.pem
./srv/wildcard.local.local.crt.der

Install CA certificate into browser or OS.

Install server certificate and key into web server.

Notes

Most modern browsers will not accept wildcard certificate for TLD (top level domain). For example *.local, *.com, will not work.

Install CA in Ubuntu

Copy ca certificate to /usr/local/share/ca-certificates and change extension to crt. Then run update-ca-certificates.

Example:

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cp ./ca/local.local/ca.local.local.crt.pem /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ca.local.local.crt
update-ca-certificates

Changelog

  • 1.0.0
    • Take domain name from command line.
    • Each domain in own directory under ca directory.
    • Automatically generate der format for both ca and server cert.
    • Check if ca and server cert exist.
    • Remove OSCP and CRL extension from ca.cnf.template.
  • 1.1.0
    • Incorporated ca config template into tiny_ca.sh.

Reference

OpenSSL Certificate Authority by Jamie Nguyen.

openssl-ca man page.

John Siu

Update: 2020-08-12
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