Open SSL Creating Certificate Signing Request — CSR Generation

A Certificate Authority will use a CSR to create your SSL certificate.

What is a CSR? A CSR or ‘Certificate Signing Request’ is a block of encrypted text, that is generated on the server that the certificate will be used on.

It contains information that will be included in your certificate, such as your organization name, common name (domain name), locality, and country. It also contains the public key that will be included in your certificate.

Run these OpenSSL commands, to generate your Certificate Signing Request.

Step 1: Generate a Private Key

$ openssl genrsa -out shellhacks.com.key 2048

If you need just to renew existence certificate and you already have the private key, you can skip this step and use it, instead of generating new one.

The number 2048 is the size of the key, in bits. Today, 2048 or higher is recommended for RSA keys, as fewer amount of bits is consider insecure or to be insecure pretty soon.

Step 2: Generate the CSR

$ openssl req -new -key shellhacks.com.key -out shellhacks.com.csr

The fields, required in a Certificate Signing Request, are listed below with explanations and examples :

Distinguished Name FieldExplanationExample
Common Name The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for your web server. This must be an exact match. If you intend to secure the URL https://www.shellhacks.com/, then your CSR’s common name must be: www.shellhacks.com
Organisation The exact legal name of your organisation. Do not abbreviate your organisation name. ShellHacks Ltd.
Organisation Unit Section of the organisation, can be left empty if this does not apply to your case. Development department
City/Locality The city where your organisation is legally located. Balham
State/County/Region The state/county/region where your organisation is legally located. Must not be abbreviated. London
Country The two-letter ISO abbreviation for your country. GB
Email address The email address used to contact your organisation. info@shellhacks.com
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