Self Signed SSL For Nginx And Chrome Trusted Authority (Ubuntu)

December 11, 2017

Create cert

First, we shall create a root CA cert.

Note: you shall be promoted for Country Name, Organization Name, Common Name, etc. There fields refer to the identity of the root CA we are creating, not the actual domain.

mkdir mycert
cd mycert
openssl genrsa -des3 -out rootCA.key 2048
openssl req -x509 -new -nodes -key rootCA.key -sha256 -days 1024 -out rootCA.pem

Use the rootCA to create private key for your domain. You can store private key at /etc/nginx/ssl/ or /etc/ssl/private/.

Note: Most import field is Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name), where you use localhost or a fake domain name (e.g. or www.mydomain.test). Don’t include a challenge password. I shall use www.mydomain.test for my example.

sudo openssl req -new -sha256 -nodes -out server.csr -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout /etc/nginx/ssl/mydomain.key

Create a v3.ext file.

keyUsage = digitalSignature, nonRepudiation, keyEncipherment, dataEncipherment
subjectAltName = @alt_names

DNS.1 = www.mydomain.test

Create your cert. You can store your cert at /etc/nginx/ssl/ or /etc/ssl/certs/.

sudo openssl x509 -req -in server.csr -CA rootCA.pem -CAkey rootCA.key -CAcreateserial -out /etc/nginx/ssl/mydomain.crt -days 1000 -sha256 -extfile v3.ext

Configure nginx SSL

Assuming you already install and setup Nginx.

Edit you Nginx configuration file. Refer to // EDIT: for editing.

erver {
        listen   80;
        // EDIT: listen to both port 80 and ssl
        listen 443 ssl;

        // EDIT: make sure domain name is correct
        server_name www.mydomain.test;
        ssl_certificate /etc/nginx/ssl/mydomain.crt;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/ssl/mydomain.key;

Restart nginx.

sudo service nginx restart

Edit the /etc/hosts file to create a localhost entry for our fake domain www.mydomain.test.

sudo nano /etc/hosts       www.mydomain.test

Test if the page can be accessed using HTTPS at https://www.mydomain.test/.

Chrome will probably complaint of Your connection is not private / ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID, where you can proceed by clicking on ADVANCE and click on Proceed to ... (unsafe).

Chrome Cert Authority Invalid

Cofigure Chrome to accept out rootCA as Trusted Authority

Access chrome://settings/certificates in Chrome or Settings -> Advanced -> Manage certificates -> AUTHRORITIES.

Chrome Manage Cert

Click IMPORT, and select mycert/rootCA.pem created earlier.

When promoted, select Trust this certificate for identifying websites.

Chrome Import Cert Authority

Try accessing https://www.mydomain.test/ again and chrome no longer

Import Chrome Trusted Authority Cert using command line

If you dislike import CA certificate using GUI, you can use a command line tool.

Install libnss3-tools / certutil.

sudo apt-get install libnss3-tools

Import our rootCA.

certutil -d sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb -A -t "CT,c,c" -n "Test Authority - /mycert/rootCA.pem" -i /mycert/rootCA.pem

Check if import is successful.

certutil -d sql:$HOME/.pki/nssdb -L
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