I'm getting the error mentioned in the title in Firefox when i try to access my website on my machine. This is the error i get :

An error occurred during a connection to www.st.um.
SSL peer was unable to negotiate an acceptable set of security parameters.
(Error code: ssl_error_handshake_failure_alert)

This is my virtual host configuration :

<VirtualHost *:443>
    ServerAdmin user1@st.um
    ServerName www.st.um
    DocumentRoot /var/www/web
    <Directory /var/www/web>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride None
        Order allow,deny
        allow from all
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/servercert.pem
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/serverkey.pem
    SSLCACertificateFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/stcert.pem

    <FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php)$">
        SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

    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

    SSLVerifyClient require
    SSLVerifyDepth 10


The certificate "servercert.pem" is certificated using my CA : "stcert.pem" and i can use the certificate "servercert.pem" with the key "serverkey.pem" perfectly to gain access to the s_server as a server and having my CA imported and trusted in the list of authorities of the web browser :

openssl s_server -cert servercert.pem -key serverkey.pem -www

I also can gain access to my website as a client using a PKCS#12 file generated from a certificate "clientcert.pem" with its key "clientkey.pem".

The only thing that i have in /etc/log/apache2/error.log is :

[Sat May 25 02:44:11 2013] [notice] Apache/2.2.22 (Ubuntu) 
PHP/5.3.10-1ubuntu3.6 with Suhosin-Patch mod_ssl/2.2.22 
OpenSSL/1.0.1 configured -- resuming normal operations
  • When i try to access my website in my machine i get the ssl error handshake failure alert in the web browser – mragrid May 25 '13 at 0:36
  • What exactly does the Apache error log say? – daff May 25 '13 at 0:40
  • OK, i just updated the question with the complete error description. – mragrid May 25 '13 at 0:41
  • I just edited my virtualhost configuration and deleted "SSLVerifyClient require" and "SSLVerifyDepth 10". And now it is working. I could not answer my own question because it is asking me to wait 8 hours for being a beginner. – mragrid May 25 '13 at 1:11

I edited my virtualhost configuration and deleted :

    SSLVerifyClient require
    SSLVerifyDepth 10

And now it is working for server-side authentication. The "SSLVerifyClient require" directive override the lines :

SSLCertificateFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/servercert.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/serverkey.pem
SSLCACertificateFile /usr/lib/ssl/demoCA/stcert.pem

And that was the problem. The "SSLVerifyClient require" directive is for client-Side authentication and it makes openSSL to always require a certificate from the client.

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