I am not an admin, but a programmer. But how it is, if you're the only guy who knows about computers, everyone shoves those tasks to you.

A certificate of a domain recently expired. The domains are managed using Plesk 11, on a Linux system, Apache2.2. I was given a new certificate from the host, and it is one single .pem file. However, Plesk asks me for a .crt file, a private key and some CA file. I have neither, only this single .pem file the host claims to be the certificate.

Since I myself never did anything with SSL certificates, I would really appreciate if anyone can tell me what to do with this file and how to properly add a new one so the old one can be removed.


It may happen that .pem file includes .crt inside. Just open it in text editor and see the content. If you see more than one pair of blocks like that, than that is it:

-----BEGIN ...-----


-----END ...-----

One block would be your private key ("PRIVATE KEY" string used in a header, i.e. "----- BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----") and another one would be your certificate ("CERTIFICATE" string in a header, i.e. "----- BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----"). Just copy/paste these blocks into respective text ares in "Add Certificate" and you should be fine. Be sure that you include BEGIN and END lines when copy/paste.

CA file is really optional.

  • I have only the ----- BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- in it. No private key.
    – Lanbo
    Dec 7 '12 at 19:04
  • Then I think the host has to look for the private key. Maybe it can be reclaimed from an authority issuing the certificate.
    – Sergey L
    Dec 13 '12 at 13:14

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