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I'm having a curious problem. Since my server got no SSL certificate and I want to avoid the ugly "This site is unsecure" warning, I decided to redirect https to http.

I have my website, lets say mywebsite.com

when I do


it redirects to http://mywebsite.com as intended but when I do


I get no redirection and my browser tells me that the website is unsecure.


I want

https://*mywebsite.com to redirect to http://*mywebsite.com

I have

https://mywebsite.com not redirecting
https://www.mywebsite.com  redirecting to http://mywebsite.com

Here's my default-ssl.vhost

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
        ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

        DocumentRoot /

        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
        <Directory /var/www/>
                Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                AllowOverride None
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all
        ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
        <Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin">
                AllowOverride None
                Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
                Order allow,deny
                Allow from all

        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

        # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
        # alert, emerg.
        LogLevel warn

        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ssl_access.log combined

        Alias /doc/ "/usr/share/doc/"
        <Directory "/usr/share/doc/">
                Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
                Order deny,allow
                Deny from all
                Allow from ::1/128

        #   SSL Engine Switch:
        #   Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host.
        SSLEngine on

        #   A self-signed (snakeoil) certificate can be created by installing
        #   the ssl-cert package. See
        #   /usr/share/doc/apache2.2-common/README.Debian.gz for more info.
        #   If both key and certificate are stored in the same file, only the
        #   SSLCertificateFile directive is needed.
        # SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem
        # SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key
        SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/******.******.com.crt
        SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/*******.******.com.key
        #   Server Certificate Chain:
        #   Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the
        #   concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the
        #   certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively
        #   the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
        #   when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server
        #   certificate for convinience.
        #SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/server-ca.crt

        #   Certificate Authority (CA):
        #   Set the CA certificate verification path where to find CA
        #   certificates for client authentication or alternatively one
        #   huge file containing all of them (file must be PEM encoded)
        #   Note: Inside SSLCACertificatePath you need hash symlinks
        #         to point to the certificate files. Use the provided
        #         Makefile to update the hash symlinks after changes.
        #SSLCACertificatePath /etc/ssl/certs/
        #SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/ca-bundle.crt

        #   Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL):
        #   Set the CA revocation path where to find CA CRLs for client
        #   authentication or alternatively one huge file containing all
        #   of them (file must be PEM encoded)
        #   Note: Inside SSLCARevocationPath you need hash symlinks
        #         to point to the certificate files. Use the provided
        #         Makefile to update the hash symlinks after changes.
        #SSLCARevocationPath /etc/apache2/ssl.crl/
        #SSLCARevocationFile /etc/apache2/ssl.crl/ca-bundle.crl

        #   Client Authentication (Type):
        #   Client certificate verification type and depth.  Types are
        #   none, optional, require and optional_no_ca.  Depth is a
        #   number which specifies how deeply to verify the certificate
        #   issuer chain before deciding the certificate is not valid.
        #SSLVerifyClient require
        #SSLVerifyDepth  10

        #   Access Control:
        #   With SSLRequire you can do per-directory access control based
        #   on arbitrary complex boolean expressions containing server
        #   variable checks and other lookup directives.  The syntax is a
        #   mixture between C and Perl.  See the mod_ssl documentation
        #   for more details.
        #<Location />
        #SSLRequire (    %{SSL_CIPHER} !~ m/^(EXP|NULL)/ \
        #            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Snake Oil, Ltd." \
        #            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} in {"Staff", "CA", "Dev"} \
        #            and %{TIME_WDAY} >= 1 and %{TIME_WDAY} <= 5 \
        #            and %{TIME_HOUR} >= 8 and %{TIME_HOUR} <= 20       ) \
        #           or %{REMOTE_ADDR} =~ m/^192\.76\.162\.[0-9]+$/

        #   SSL Engine Options:
        #   Set various options for the SSL engine.
        #   o FakeBasicAuth:
        #     Translate the client X.509 into a Basic Authorisation.  This means that
        #     the standard Auth/DBMAuth methods can be used for access control.  The
        #     user name is the `one line' version of the client's X.509 certificate.
        #     Note that no password is obtained from the user. Every entry in the user
        #     file needs this password: `xxj31ZMTZzkVA'.
        #   o ExportCertData:
        #     This exports two additional environment variables: SSL_CLIENT_CERT and
        #     SSL_SERVER_CERT. These contain the PEM-encoded certificates of the
        #     server (always existing) and the client (only existing when client
        #     authentication is used). This can be used to import the certificates
        #     into CGI scripts.
        #   o StdEnvVars:
        #     This exports the standard SSL/TLS related `SSL_*' environment variables.
        #     Per default this exportation is switched off for performance reasons,
        #     because the extraction step is an expensive operation and is usually
        #     useless for serving static content. So one usually enables the
        #     exportation for CGI and SSI requests only.
        #   o StrictRequire:
        #     This denies access when "SSLRequireSSL" or "SSLRequire" applied even
        #     under a "Satisfy any" situation, i.e. when it applies access is denied
        #     and no other module can change it.
        #   o OptRenegotiate:
        #     This enables optimized SSL connection renegotiation handling when SSL
        #     directives are used in per-directory context.
        #SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire
        <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
                SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
        <Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin>
                SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

        #   SSL Protocol Adjustments:
        #   The safe and default but still SSL/TLS standard compliant shutdown
        #   approach is that mod_ssl sends the close notify alert but doesn't wait for
        #   the close notify alert from client. When you need a different shutdown
        #   approach you can use one of the following variables:
        #   o ssl-unclean-shutdown:
        #     This forces an unclean shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. no
        #     SSL close notify alert is send or allowed to received.  This violates
        #     the SSL/TLS standard but is needed for some brain-dead browsers. Use
        #     this when you receive I/O errors because of the standard approach where
        #     mod_ssl sends the close notify alert.
        #   o ssl-accurate-shutdown:
        #     This forces an accurate shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. a
        #     SSL close notify alert is send and mod_ssl waits for the close notify
        #     alert of the client. This is 100% SSL/TLS standard compliant, but in
        #     practice often causes hanging connections with brain-dead browsers. Use
        #     this only for browsers where you know that their SSL implementation
        #     works correctly.
        #   Notice: Most problems of broken clients are also related to the HTTP
        #   keep-alive facility, so you usually additionally want to disable
        #   keep-alive for those clients, too. Use variable "nokeepalive" for this.
        #   Similarly, one has to force some clients to use HTTP/1.0 to workaround
        #   their broken HTTP/1.1 implementation. Use variables "downgrade-1.0" and
        #   "force-response-1.0" for this.
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
                nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
                downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
        # MSIE 7 and newer should be able to use keepalive
        BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown

        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
        RewriteRule (.*) http://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [NC,R=301,L]


And my vhost for the website

<Directory /var/www/mywebsite.com>
    AllowOverride None
    Order Deny,Allow
    Deny from all

<VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot /var/www/mywebsite.com/web

    ServerName mywebsite.com
    ServerAlias www.mywebsite.com
    ServerAdmin webmaster@mywebsite.com

    ErrorLog /var/log/ispconfig/httpd/mywebsite.com/error.log

    ErrorDocument 400 /error/400.html
    ErrorDocument 401 /error/401.html
    ErrorDocument 403 /error/403.html
    ErrorDocument 404 /error/404.html
    ErrorDocument 405 /error/405.html
    ErrorDocument 500 /error/500.html
    ErrorDocument 503 /error/503.html

    <Directory /var/www/mywebsite.com/web>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
    <Directory /var/www/clients/client0/web6/web>
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

    # Clear PHP settings of this website
    <FilesMatch "\.ph(p3?|tml)$">
        SetHandler None
    # php as fast-cgi enabled
    <IfModule mod_fcgid.c>

          # SocketPath /tmp/fcgid_sock/

          # IdleTimeout n (3600 seconds)
          # An idle fastcgi application will be terminated after IdleTimeout seconds.
      IdleTimeout 3600

          # ProcessLifeTime n (7200 seconds)
      # A fastcgi application will be terminated if lifetime expired, even no error is detected.
      ProcessLifeTime 7200

          # MaxProcessCount n (1000)
      # The max count of total fastcgi process count.
      # MaxProcessCount 1000
 # DefaultMinClassProcessCount n (3)
      # The minimum number of fastcgi application instances for any one fastcgi application.
      # Idle fastcgi will not be killed if their count is less than n
      # Set this to 0, and tweak IdleTimeout
          DefaultMinClassProcessCount 0

          # DefaultMaxClassProcessCount n (100)
      # The maximum number of fastcgi application instances allowed to run for
      # particular one fastcgi application.
      DefaultMaxClassProcessCount 100

          # IPCConnectTimeout n (3 seconds)
      # The connect timeout to a fastcgi application.
      IPCConnectTimeout 8

          # IPCCommTimeout n (20 seconds)
      # The communication timeout to a fastcgi application. Please increase this
      # value if your CGI have a slow initialization or slow respond.
      IPCCommTimeout 360

          # BusyTimeout n (300 seconds)
      # A fastcgi application will be terminated if handing a single request
      # longer than busy timeout.
          BusyTimeout 300

   <Directory /var/www/mywebsite.com/web>
        AddHandler fcgid-script .php .php3 .php4 .php5
        FCGIWrapper /var/www/php-fcgi-scripts/web6/.php-fcgi-starter .php
        Options +ExecCGI
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
        <Directory /var/www/clients/client0/web6/web>
        AddHandler fcgid-script .php .php3 .php4 .php5
        FCGIWrapper /var/www/php-fcgi-scripts/web6/.php-fcgi-starter .php
        Options +ExecCGI
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

    # add support for apache mpm_itk
    <IfModule mpm_itk_module>
      AssignUserId web6 client0

    <IfModule mod_dav_fs.c>
      # WEBDAV END

DocumentRoot /var/www/mywebsite.com/web/public
SetEnv APPLICATION_ENV development
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.(.*)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://%1/$1 [R=301,L]


I just can't find why I get this behaviour and this is driving quite mad. The vhost files are the ISPConfig default ones slightly modified to make a redirection and to change the Documentroot to accommodate the MVC structure of the website.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by HopelessN00b Mar 8 at 20:17

  • This question does not appear to be about server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The redirect happens after the SSL negotiation. If you do not click OK when you're given the warning, the browser will not go forward with the connection and thus will not get the redirect.

share|improve this answer
Isn't there any way to make the https redirect to http without the warning due to the lack of certificate ? –  Jay Zus Jun 20 '13 at 13:04
No. SSL is a method of encrypting the HTTP traffic. That means that the encrypted session will be established first, including checking for a valid certificate. Only when that is done will the HTTP session start. –  Jenny D Jun 20 '13 at 16:20
Ok then, I'll have to buy a certificate ... Since I don't see a lot of warning like that, I guess the business of SSL certificate works quite nicely . –  Jay Zus Jun 20 '13 at 16:29
The other option is to simply not have port 443 open at all. Most people don't go through the bother of typing in https:// at the start of an URL, so they'll default to the ordinary/non-SSL site. –  Jenny D Jun 20 '13 at 17:52
The thing is that some browser have the https everywhere by default, or users can download things and addons that do the same thing ... –  Jay Zus Jun 20 '13 at 18:57

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