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

I'm running an Apache server on Ubuntu. When I restart it, it asks me for a pass phrase; here's what the dialog looks like:

Apache/2.2.16 mod_ssl/2.2.16 (Pass Phrase Dialog) Some of your private key files are encrypted for security reasons. In order to read them you have to provide the pass phrases.

Server (RSA) Enter pass phrase:

I've already worked out how to remove the pass phrase from the key file in question, but I can't find any information anywhere on how to determine which key file Apache is complaining about in the above dialog. I have dozens of key files on the server in question, although I don't know which ones are in active use (all I did is 'locate .pem' and ignore the false positives). Does anyone know how to track down which pem file I need to remove the passphrase from?

share|improve this question

migrated from Oct 2 '12 at 15:13

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you set up the server, you should know what keys are being used. Anyway, look out for SSLCertificateKeyFile directives. If not contained in the httpd.conf, they might hide in auxiliary files included with the Include directive.

share|improve this answer
I did not set up the server, I inherited it from a coworker who is no longer available, which is why I don't know what keys are being used. Thanks for the tip. – quindraco Oct 2 '12 at 13:07

Your Answer


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