Does anyone know how to create a self-signed SSL certificate for use with IIS (7) that has subject alternative names (SAN)s? I need the certificate to be able to validate the hostname AND the IP address like this:

  • CN=MyServerName
  • IP SAN:

Some things i've been looking at:

  • Windows SDK: makecert.exe (doesn't support SANs)

  • Windows API CertEnroll (Server 2008): using PowerShell script (I've been able to get this to work with IIS, however when I export the certificate into a Java keystore (must have) I get an error keytool error: 'java.lang.Exception: Input not an X.509 certificate’)

Here's an example of a PowerShell script using CertEnroll: http://blogs.technet.com/b/vishalagarwal/archive/2009/08/22/generating-a-certificate-self-signed-using-powershell-and-certenroll-interfaces.aspx

  • OpenSSL: I haven't looked into this yet...

It would be great if I can get my PowerShell script to create a certificate that Java recognizes using the CertEnroll API, but anything that works at this point i'll be happy hearing about.

4 Answers 4


I found a way to do this using OpenSSL. I was hoping to use CertEnroll but since it gave me interoperability problems with Java I'm just going to use OpenSSL.

Here is how I created a cert for IIS with subject alternative names using OpenSSL.

First create a OpenSSL config text file:

distinguished_name  = req_distinguished_name
x509_extensions     = v3_req
prompt              = no
C           = US
ST          = VA
L           = SomeCity
O           = MyCompany
OU          = MyDivision
CN          = ANDY
keyUsage           = keyEncipherment, dataEncipherment
extendedKeyUsage   = serverAuth
subjectAltName = @alt_names
DNS.1 = andy
DNS.2 =
IP.1 =
IP.2 =

Then run the following OpenSSL commands:

openssl.exe req -x509 -nodes -days 730 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout C:\cert.pem -out C:\cert.pem -config C:\PathToConfigFileAbove.txt

openssl.exe pkcs12 -export -out C:\cert.pfx -in C:\cert.pem -name "My Cert" -passout pass:mypassword

This will create you a cert in a PFX file which can be imported to IIS. I automated this with powershell like so:

    # Get the certificate from the PFX file.
$pfxcert = new-object system.security.cryptography.x509certificates.x509certificate2
    [System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509KeyStorageFlags]::MachineKeySet -bor `

    # Add the certificate to the windows stores.
Get-Item -Path cert:\LocalMachine\My, cert:\LocalMachine\root | ForEach-Object {
    $store = $_

Add-PSSnapin -Name WebAdministration # IIS 7 Powershell module.
Push-Location -Path IIS:\SslBindings

    # Create new IIS SSL bindings.
Get-Item -Path "cert:\LocalMachine\My\$($pfxcert.Thumbprint)" | New-Item "!443"
  • I misunderstood; I thought your issue was in getting the certificate to import to a java key store? That's what my answer covers. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 0:37
  • Yes that was part of it. I have no idea why Java didn't like the certificates created with the CertEnroll API but had no issue with the cert created with makecert.exe which uses the same API. Ultimately I needed a way to create a self-signed cert with SANs using any tool and also be able to import that certificate (with no private key) into a Java keystore (for Tomcat). Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 4:52
  • By the way this method works if you need to create a Tomcat public/private keypair as well. The PFX created by OpenSSL can be imported into a JKS for use with Tomcat with this command: Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 15:40
  • keytool.exe -importkeystore -srckeystore C:\cert.pfx -srcstoretype PKCS12 -destkeystore C:\andy.jks -srcstorepass mypassword -deststorepass changeit . Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 15:58

I thought SAN wasn't supported using makecert either, but then I found this blog

It seems that you can get similar functionality to using SAN by using multiple common names. e.g. makecert -n "CN=CertName;CN=pseudoSAN"

or in your example "CN=Andy;CN="


The java key tool is picky about what it'll allow to import. The certificate that you've built via powershell should work, though, with a little massaging.

What format is the certificate in now? If you've done an export from a windows certificate store, it's probably .pfx; you'll want to convert to a PEM-encoded x509 certificate:

openssl pkcs12 -in /path/to/certbundle.pfx -out /public/key/path/certificate.crt -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in /path/to/certbundle.pfx -out /private/key/path/certificate.key -nocerts -nodes

From there, you'll want to check the actual contents of the file - these Windows certificates include a "Bag Attributes" section above the -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- section, which the keytool parser likes to choke on - feel free to strip that out so that the files look just like this, with no other content:





These certificate files should be a lot more amenable to import by the java keytool.

  • When I export the cert create with the CertEnroll API via my script I've tried exporting both as DER and Base64. Keytool doesn't import either. When I use the export wizard in the Windows store I select not to export the private key. The base64 export has the BEGIN/END headers, the DER export is a binary file. Commented Aug 16, 2011 at 23:26

Update for 2021.

This can now be done using a single command line, for example:

openssl req -new -x509 -nodes -sha256 -days 365 -subj "/C=GB/CN=blah" -addext  "subjectAltName = DNS:example.net,DNS:*.example.net,IP:" -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout key.pem -out req.pem

Source: openssl req man page

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