I've the following configuration:

SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/httpd/conf/login.domain.com.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/httpd/conf/login.domain.com.key

but I don't know how to generate .crt and .key files.

2 Answers 2


crt and key files represent both parts of a certificate, key being the private key to the certificate and crt being the signed certificate.

It's only one of the ways to generate certs, another way would be having both inside a pem file or another in a p12 container.

You have several ways to generate those files, if you want to self-sign the certificate you can just issue this commands

openssl genrsa 2048 > host.key
chmod 400 host.key
openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -sha256 -days 365 -key host.key -out host.cert

Note that with self-signed certificates your browser will warn you that the certificate is not "trusted" because it hasn't been signed by a certification authority that is in the trust list of your browser.

From there onwards you can either generate your own chain of trust by making your CA or buy a certificate from a company like Verisign or Thawte.

  • after running "openssl genrsa 1024 > host.key" I got this in terminal: "e is 65537 (0x10001) " is it an error? Jan 19, 2011 at 10:18
  • 1
    Yes, this means that openssl can't write the random seed to the default file it uses which is defined by openssl.cnf, by default in CentOS/RHEL this file is in /etc/pki/tls/openssl.cnf. Try executing the same commands as root in this case and see how it goes.
    – lynxman
    Jan 19, 2011 at 10:29
  • I try it as root, but I got "e is 65537 (0x10001)" again Jan 19, 2011 at 10:37
  • 1
    Do you have SELinux activated on your machine? Check /var/log/messages to see why openssl can't write the file
    – lynxman
    Jan 19, 2011 at 10:38
  • 5
    letsencrypt.org is a free ssl provider. Take a look on it instead of paying a lot of money to those companies.
    – Kaan
    Sep 13, 2018 at 12:00

These are the public (.crt) and private (.key) parts of an SSL certificate. See this question for a plethora of relevant information, e.g. if you want to generate a cert yourself, or buy one.

  • Basic question but -- I'm assuming I ought to copy the .key file to my ~/.ssh folder, when I upload my CSR file to my ssl provider?
    – Qasim
    Jan 6, 2017 at 6:11
  • 1
    @Qasim SSL-files don't have anything to do with SSH (which is what the .ssh-folder belongs to). Feb 7, 2017 at 10:30

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