Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So far I've had HTTPS working for a long time, so I don't think there are any trouble with the server certificates. Now I tried to add this to lighttpd.conf:

ssl.engine                  = "enable"
ssl.cipher-list = "ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384:AES256-SHA256:RC4-SHA:RC4:HIGH:!MD5:!aNULL:!EDH:!AESGCM"
ssl.pemfile                 = "/etc/ssl/private/steinbitglis.domain.pem"                 = "/etc/ssl/private/GandiStandardSSLCA.pem"
ssl.verifyclient.activate   = "enable"
ssl.verifyclient.enforce    = "enable"

The lighttpd error log says this:

(connections.c.299) SSL: 1 error:140890C7:SSL routines:SSL3_GET_CLIENT_CERTIFICATE:peer did not return a certificate

Firefox claims the following:


My goal is to replace username+passphrase with browser certificates, but I've not even been able to request any certificate from the browser yet. If anyone knows a good source to learn all the details I need to play with this technology, that would be awesome.

This is a test I did from a remote machine.

$ openssl s_client -CAfile GandiStandardSSLCA.pem -showcerts -connect steinbitglis.domain:443
depth=2 C = US, ST = UT, L = Salt Lake City, O = The USERTRUST Network, OU =, CN = UTN-USERFirst-Hardware
verify return:1
depth=1 C = FR, O = GANDI SAS, CN = Gandi Standard SSL CA
verify return:1
depth=0 OU = Domain Control Validated, OU = Gandi Standard SSL, CN = steinbitglis.domain
verify return:1
139713412519584:error:14094410:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:sslv3 alert handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:1195:SSL alert number 40
139713412519584:error:1409E0E5:SSL routines:SSL3_WRITE_BYTES:ssl handshake failure:s3_pkt.c:591:
Certificate chain
 0 s:/OU=Domain Control Validated/OU=Gandi Standard SSL/CN=steinbitglis.domain
   i:/C=FR/O=GANDI SAS/CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA
 1 s:/C=FR/O=GANDI SAS/CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA
   i:/C=US/ST=UT/L=Salt Lake City/O=The USERTRUST Network/OU=
Server certificate
subject=/OU=Domain Control Validated/OU=Gandi Standard SSL/CN=steinbitglis.domain
issuer=/C=FR/O=GANDI SAS/CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA
Acceptable client certificate CA names
/C=FR/O=GANDI SAS/CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA
SSL handshake has read 2657 bytes and written 347 bytes
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is AES256-SHA
Server public key is 2048 bit
Secure Renegotiation IS supported
Compression: NONE
Expansion: NONE
    Protocol  : SSLv3
    Cipher    : AES256-SHA
    Session-ID: CFD6D9A88B96888E9114F1EFF5DD23C83082D24F571B30105BA793FD06A1C311
    Master-Key: 4106EE7BB7FF8DE9793431CFFD4175842D02C08AC055D315DBEF7B9BCAD3FF5032769A18775142BEA2AF9E80694A32B3
    Key-Arg   : None
    PSK identity: None
    PSK identity hint: None
    Start Time: 1338161044
    Timeout   : 7200 (sec)
    Verify return code: 0 (ok)
share|improve this question
Can you provide the output of openssl s_client -showcerts -CApath /etc/ssl/certs -connect myserver:443? – mgorven May 27 '12 at 21:11
It was too long to post as a comment, so I added it to the question. The three lines following "CONNECTED" came to stderr. – Steinbitglis May 27 '12 at 21:38
Editing the question is the correct thing to do when adding information. No client certificate CA names sent: this means that Lighttpd is not telling the client which CAs are valid for client certificates, which usually means that the client won't send a certificate. I can't seem to find the configuration to do this though... – mgorven May 27 '12 at 21:44
No client certificate CA names sent

This means that Lighttpd is not telling the client which CAs are valid for client certificates. This usually means that the client will not send a client certificate (since it is not able to decide which certificate to use).

It isn't very clear, but #1288 implies that the directive is used to specify the trusted CAs for client authentication, and I would think that this would be used to send the list of acceptable CAs to the client. Make sure that your ca-file includes the CA which your client certificate is signed by.

share|improve this answer
I added some info about that config. = "/etc/ssl/private/GandiStandardSSLCA.pem" – Steinbitglis May 27 '12 at 22:14
Ok, I think I got my own environment trouble out of the way. Now I have some more realistic output from openssl in my question. – Steinbitglis May 27 '12 at 22:44
Good, Lighttpd is sending acceptable CA names now. Is your client's certificate signed by /C=FR/O=GANDI SAS/CN=Gandi Standard SSL CA? If not, append the CA certificate for client certificates to the – mgorven May 27 '12 at 23:05
Tried again with -CAfile GandiStandardSSLCA.pem. Update in my question. – Steinbitglis May 27 '12 at 23:28
@Steinbitglis I'm referring to the set in Lighttpd, not the s_client test. Is the CA which the client certificates are signed by included in the configured in Lighttpd? – mgorven May 28 '12 at 1:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.