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I want to backup my certificates and I see that there are lot of symlinks in /etc/ssl/private and I'm not sure why they are here. Does anyone have an idea?

I am running Ubuntu Server Jaunty 9.10 and LAMP.

listing, (I renamed my certs to cert*.crt for privacy):

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root        9 2010-02-13 16:06 275e5f53 -> cert1.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       10 2010-02-12 17:14 2f12eb79 -> cert2.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       13 2010-02-12 17:52 3ab06078 -> cert3.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       13 2010-02-12 17:52 7d9a024e -> cert3.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       13 2010-02-12 14:44 9ed650a1 -> cert3.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1555 2010-02-13 16:05 cert4.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1539 2010-02-13 16:05 cert5.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root        9 2010-02-13 16:05 bd408027 -> cert5.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       11 2010-02-15 22:55 ca9258bf -> cert6.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1535 2010-02-12 17:52 cert3.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1531 2010-02-12 15:02 cert3.crt.backup
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       16 2010-02-13 16:05 d41ee854 -> cert4.crt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root       10 2010-02-13 16:06 f44c16b3 -> cert7.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1539 2010-02-13 16:06 cert1.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1522 2010-02-12 17:14 cert2.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1539 2010-02-13 16:06 cert7.crt
-rw------- 1 root root     1547 2010-02-15 22:55 cert6.crt
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

These are hash symlinks so that openssl (or another SSL-aware program) can find the certificates by their hash sum.

For example openssl x509 -noout -hash -in cert1.crt (cert1.crt from your listing) should output 275e5f53.

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Interesting stuff! Thanks joschi. Oh and I suppose I don't need to copy them for my backup? They will be generated again? –  Weboide Jul 11 '10 at 15:01
2  
@Weboide: Usually OpenSSL comes with a script c_rehash that does this automatically. –  grawity Jul 11 '10 at 17:37

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