Still self signed error in browser


I have defined a virtual host first on port 80 and test that everything was fine. Then I followed certbot --apache certonly to get the certificate. The output shows that everything is normal

Select the appropriate numbers separated by commas and/or spaces, or leave input
blank to select all options shown (Enter ‘c’ to cancel): 1
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
http-01 challenge for
Waiting for verification…
Cleaning up challenges
Resetting dropped connection:


  • Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
    Your key file has been saved at:
    Your cert will expire on 2019-07-13. To obtain a new or tweaked
    version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot
    again. To non-interactively renew all of your certificates, run
    “certbot renew”

So, I edited the virtualhost as below

<VirtualHost *:443>
     SSLEngine On
     SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
     SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
     SSLCACertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/

    ServerAlias test
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html

After restarting httpd, when I enter “https://domain”, I get the following warning in Firefox: uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is not trusted because it is self-signed.

View Certificate

What is missing here? Thanks


Hi @mahmoodn

looks like this vHost isn’t used.

What says

apachectl configtest
apachectl -S

Is the vHost enabled? (/sites-available vs. /sites-enabled ?) Looks like you have a standard vHost with the self signed certificate, this vHost is used.


I see

[root@test httpd]# apachectl configtest
Syntax OK
[root@test httpd]# apachectl -S
[root@test httpd]#
[root@test httpd]# ls -l sites-available/
total 4
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 360 Apr 14 20:42
[root@test httpd]# ls -l sites-enabled/
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 46 Apr 14 20:35 -> /etc/httpd/sites-available/
[root@test httpd]# tac conf/httpd.conf | head -n 2
IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf
IncludeOptional conf.d/*.conf

So, I think everything is normal.

Looks like you have a standard vHost with the self signed certificate, this vHost is used.

But you can see, SSL is on and I gave the certificate paths correctly.

[root@test httpd]# ls /etc/letsencrypt/live/
cert.pem  chain.pem  fullchain.pem  privkey.pem  README

No, the directory sites-enabled is empty. So NO sites are enabled.

Try: a2ensite


Excuse me, but that is not empty. It has symlink.

[root@test httpd]# ls -l sites-enabled/
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 46 Apr 14 20:35 -> /etc/httpd/sites-available/
[root@test httpd]# ls sites-enabled/
[root@test httpd]#

Also, a2ensite is a debian based command as described here. In Centos 7, the manual symlink should work.


Is this

Success! The virtual host is working!

the correct content?

Create a file in your DocumentRoot

then check, if you can load that file with your browser.

Or you have an orphaned Apache, happens sometimes -> reboot


Yes, the content is correct

[root@test httpd]# cat /var/www/html/index.html
    <title>Welcome to!</title>
    <h1>Success! The virtual host is working!</h1>

I didn’t remove other DocumentRoot variables

[root@test httpd]# grep -r www/html .
./conf/httpd.conf:DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
./conf/httpd.conf:<Directory "/var/www/html">
./conf.d/ssl.conf:#DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
./sites-available/    DocumentRoot /var/www/html

Looks there are other definitions. One has the self signed certificate.


Since ssl.conf is included in httpd as below

[root@test httpd]# tac conf/httpd.conf | head -n 2
IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf
IncludeOptional conf.d/*.conf

I think it will be used first. However, tac command shows item in reverse. So, the last two sentences in httpd are

IncludeOptional conf.d/*.conf
IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf

So, I think sites-enabled should replace ssl.conf
Still I think ssl.conf has self-signed information since I see these entries

SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key

So, I just ranamed ssl.conf to ssl in order to not use its information. After restarting httpd, when I enter https in the browser, secure connection fails. But http is still working.


Add there a not existing ServerName, so this entry isn’t used as default entry.


I rolled bask ssl to ssl.conf and rebooted the machine. Still see self-signed message.


Huh, strange, why would ls output “total 0”?


As a dirty work (!), I replaced the default

SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key

in conf.d/ssl.conf with my own paths

SSLCertificateFile /path/to/cert.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/privkey.pem
SSLCACertificateFile /path/to/fullchain.pem

After restarting httpd, it works!!

1 Like

What’s the content of that file?


I removed my dirty workaround. This is the default content

# When we also provide SSL we have to listen to the
# the HTTPS port in addition.
Listen 443 https

##  SSL Global Context
##  All SSL configuration in this context applies both to
##  the main server and all SSL-enabled virtual hosts.

#   Pass Phrase Dialog:
#   Configure the pass phrase gathering process.
#   The filtering dialog program (`builtin' is a internal
#   terminal dialog) has to provide the pass phrase on stdout.
SSLPassPhraseDialog exec:/usr/libexec/httpd-ssl-pass-dialog

#   Inter-Process Session Cache:
#   Configure the SSL Session Cache: First the mechanism
#   to use and second the expiring timeout (in seconds).
SSLSessionCache         shmcb:/run/httpd/sslcache(512000)
SSLSessionCacheTimeout  300

#   Pseudo Random Number Generator (PRNG):
#   Configure one or more sources to seed the PRNG of the
#   SSL library. The seed data should be of good random quality.
#   WARNING! On some platforms /dev/random blocks if not enough entropy
#   is available. This means you then cannot use the /dev/random device
#   because it would lead to very long connection times (as long as
#   it requires to make more entropy available). But usually those
#   platforms additionally provide a /dev/urandom device which doesn't
#   block. So, if available, use this one instead. Read the mod_ssl User
#   Manual for more details.
SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/urandom  256
SSLRandomSeed connect builtin
#SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/random  512
#SSLRandomSeed connect file:/dev/random  512
#SSLRandomSeed connect file:/dev/urandom 512

# Use "SSLCryptoDevice" to enable any supported hardware
# accelerators. Use "openssl engine -v" to list supported
# engine names.  NOTE: If you enable an accelerator and the
# server does not start, consult the error logs and ensure
# your accelerator is functioning properly.
SSLCryptoDevice builtin
#SSLCryptoDevice ubsec

## SSL Virtual Host Context

<VirtualHost _default_:443>

# General setup for the virtual host, inherited from global configuration
#DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"

# Use separate log files for the SSL virtual host; note that LogLevel
# is not inherited from httpd.conf.
ErrorLog logs/ssl_error_log
TransferLog logs/ssl_access_log
LogLevel warn

#   SSL Engine Switch:
#   Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host.
SSLEngine on

#   SSL Protocol support:
# List the enable protocol levels with which clients will be able to
# connect.  Disable SSLv2 access by default:
SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

#   SSL Cipher Suite:
#   List the ciphers that the client is permitted to negotiate.
#   See the mod_ssl documentation for a complete list.

#   Speed-optimized SSL Cipher configuration:
#   If speed is your main concern (on busy HTTPS servers e.g.),
#   you might want to force clients to specific, performance
#   optimized ciphers. In this case, prepend those ciphers
#   to the SSLCipherSuite list, and enable SSLHonorCipherOrder.
#   Caveat: by giving precedence to RC4-SHA and AES128-SHA
#   (as in the example below), most connections will no longer
#   have perfect forward secrecy - if the server's key is
#   compromised, captures of past or future traffic must be
#   considered compromised, too.
#SSLHonorCipherOrder on

#   Server Certificate:
# Point SSLCertificateFile at a PEM encoded certificate.  If
# the certificate is encrypted, then you will be prompted for a
# pass phrase.  Note that a kill -HUP will prompt again.  A new
# certificate can be generated using the genkey(1) command.
   SSLCertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/localhost.crt

#   Server Private Key:
#   If the key is not combined with the certificate, use this
#   directive to point at the key file.  Keep in mind that if
#   you've both a RSA and a DSA private key you can configure
#   both in parallel (to also allow the use of DSA ciphers, etc.)
   SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/pki/tls/private/localhost.key
#   Server Certificate Chain:
#   Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the
#   concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the
#   certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively
#   the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile
#   when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server
#   certificate for convinience.
#SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/server-chain.crt

#   Certificate Authority (CA):
#   Set the CA certificate verification path where to find CA
#   certificates for client authentication or alternatively one
#   huge file containing all of them (file must be PEM encoded)
#SSLCACertificateFile /etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt

#   Client Authentication (Type):
#   Client certificate verification type and depth.  Types are
#   none, optional, require and optional_no_ca.  Depth is a
#   number which specifies how deeply to verify the certificate
#   issuer chain before deciding the certificate is not valid.
#SSLVerifyClient require
#SSLVerifyDepth  10

#   Access Control:
#   With SSLRequire you can do per-directory access control based
#   on arbitrary complex boolean expressions containing server
#   variable checks and other lookup directives.  The syntax is a
#   mixture between C and Perl.  See the mod_ssl documentation
#   for more details.
#<Location />
#SSLRequire (    %{SSL_CIPHER} !~ m/^(EXP|NULL)/ \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Snake Oil, Ltd." \
#            and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} in {"Staff", "CA", "Dev"} \
#            and %{TIME_WDAY} >= 1 and %{TIME_WDAY} <= 5 \
#            and %{TIME_HOUR} >= 8 and %{TIME_HOUR} <= 20       ) \
#           or %{REMOTE_ADDR} =~ m/^192\.76\.162\.[0-9]+$/

#   SSL Engine Options:
#   Set various options for the SSL engine.
#   o FakeBasicAuth:
#     Translate the client X.509 into a Basic Authorisation.  This means that
#     the standard Auth/DBMAuth methods can be used for access control.  The
#     user name is the `one line' version of the client's X.509 certificate.
#     Note that no password is obtained from the user. Every entry in the user
#     file needs this password: `xxj31ZMTZzkVA'.
#   o ExportCertData:
#     This exports two additional environment variables: SSL_CLIENT_CERT and
#     SSL_SERVER_CERT. These contain the PEM-encoded certificates of the
#     server (always existing) and the client (only existing when client
#     authentication is used). This can be used to import the certificates
#     into CGI scripts.
#   o StdEnvVars:
#     This exports the standard SSL/TLS related `SSL_*' environment variables.
#     Per default this exportation is switched off for performance reasons,
#     because the extraction step is an expensive operation and is usually
#     useless for serving static content. So one usually enables the
#     exportation for CGI and SSI requests only.
#   o StrictRequire:
#     This denies access when "SSLRequireSSL" or "SSLRequire" applied even
#     under a "Satisfy any" situation, i.e. when it applies access is denied
#     and no other module can change it.
#   o OptRenegotiate:
#     This enables optimized SSL connection renegotiation handling when SSL
#     directives are used in per-directory context.
#SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire
<Files ~ "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php3?)$">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
<Directory "/var/www/cgi-bin">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

#   SSL Protocol Adjustments:
#   The safe and default but still SSL/TLS standard compliant shutdown
#   approach is that mod_ssl sends the close notify alert but doesn't wait for
#   the close notify alert from client. When you need a different shutdown
#   approach you can use one of the following variables:
#   o ssl-unclean-shutdown:
#     This forces an unclean shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. no
#     SSL close notify alert is send or allowed to received.  This violates
#     the SSL/TLS standard but is needed for some brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this when you receive I/O errors because of the standard approach where
#     mod_ssl sends the close notify alert.
#   o ssl-accurate-shutdown:
#     This forces an accurate shutdown when the connection is closed, i.e. a
#     SSL close notify alert is send and mod_ssl waits for the close notify
#     alert of the client. This is 100% SSL/TLS standard compliant, but in
#     practice often causes hanging connections with brain-dead browsers. Use
#     this only for browsers where you know that their SSL implementation
#     works correctly.
#   Notice: Most problems of broken clients are also related to the HTTP
#   keep-alive facility, so you usually additionally want to disable
#   keep-alive for those clients, too. Use variable "nokeepalive" for this.
#   Similarly, one has to force some clients to use HTTP/1.0 to workaround
#   their broken HTTP/1.1 implementation. Use variables "downgrade-1.0" and
#   "force-response-1.0" for this.
BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-5]" \
         nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
         downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0

#   Per-Server Logging:
#   The home of a custom SSL log file. Use this when you want a
#   compact non-error SSL logfile on a virtual host basis.
CustomLog logs/ssl_request_log \
          "%t %h %{SSL_PROTOCOL}x %{SSL_CIPHER}x \"%r\" %b"