I have received a *.cer file from my hosting service 1and1. The certificate is for my domain. There is very little documentation involved and I need to get it running for my Apache webserver to support https.

The file starts with


How can I create all the required cert files for apache? On another server hosted by another provider I have configured https with three different files.

SSLCertificateFile "/path/to/file.crt"
SSLCertificateKeyFile "/path/to/file.key"
SSLCACertificateFile "/path/to/file.ca-bundle"

I am confused because the second provider obviously supplied a public (crt) and private key (key) whereas now I only have the cer file. In fact I could download another cer file called intermediate. Is the first one (1.cer) the private key and can I create the public key out of 1.cer and the intermediate.cer file or is 1.cer the public key and I can create the private out of both.

The documentation only says:

To use an SSL certificate managed by you, you must download the private key from the Domain Center, then install the intermediate certificate, private key, and public key on the server. The root certificate is a self-signed certification authority certificate, which creates with the intermediate and SSL certificates "a certificate chain".

What's going on here?

  • 1
    You need to edit your question and describe the process leading up to the issuance of the *.cer file. Did you send a request file (*.csr or *.req) to 1&1. Or did you use a web interface? In the latter case, were you given the option to save a private key? The CA bundle will be downloadable from the CA's website. – garethTheRed Nov 30 '17 at 7:22
  • adding to @garethTheRed's comment: if you sent a *.csr request to 1&1, then you already have the private.key file - you had to have it in order to create the certificate request (*.csr). So you want to use that private.key file (probably it's not called private.key but something else). – Tomáš Pospíšek Nov 30 '17 at 7:34
  • The minimun you will need is the key and signed cert, if your provider sends you just a cert, it is certainly not to host a server. – ezra-s Nov 30 '17 at 11:20

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