Tips For Installing A Wildcard SSL Certificate On Ubuntu

For an IT professional or someone working on their own website as a startup ecommerce business or just to add an additional stream of revenue to a brick and mortar business, Ubuntu is a very popular operating system.

It is a Debian-based Linux system and it is the biggest competitor to Windows systems. It is open-sourced, which means that it is basically created by the community that uses it as well as those behind the project. The advantage to Ubuntu includes continual upgrades to increase flexibility and customized options as well as greater hardware compatibility, something that is important to consider if you aren't running the latest in servers and equipment.

When it comes to choosing between the Windows and the Linux-based Ubuntu option, it is more than just personal choice. Most IT professionals prefer the Ubuntu option, but it may be more challenging for someone new to IT to manage. The flexibility and customization options it offers and the structured approach to making additions, such as installing a Wildcard SSL certificate on Ubuntu as compared to the Windows system makes it a good choice for most people.

The Wildcard SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) allows a main domain and all subdomains to be secured using one SSL certificate. At Comodo, we also provide the option to install the card on the unlimited physical server without any additional licensing fees. With this in place, the Ubuntu flexibility and the top security offered with the Wildcard SSL from Comodo creates a winning combination.

The First Step

As with any type of SSL/TLS product, the first step is to generate the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). For Comodo customers, we offer a very handy Certificate Auto-Requester that can be completed for any Apache server by logging into your web portal and following the commands and prompts.

It is also to create a CSR for a Wildcard SSL certificate on Ubuntu by using OpenSSL and generating the CSR manually. This will also generate a private key file that needs to be kept secure at all times. Once you generate the CSR, we recommend you store a copy of the private key in a secure location. This will be a backup if the file for the original private key is lost.

When generating the CSR be sure to verify all information is added correctly. A mistake in the format or in the information provided can result in the application being delayed or, in some cases, it may be denied.

It is also critical to ensure in the Common Name area to enter the domain name in the correct format. For a Wildcard product, this will have the (*) as a placeholder in lieu of the "www" subdomain designation. In other words, it will look like * where "mycompany" is the second-level domain name for the website. The extension or top-level domain name may not be .com; it could be .net, .biz, .org or any other viable option.

The Installation

Once you have the files needed, you will need to unzip them and upload them to the respective server directories. If you are installing the Wildcard SSL certificate on Ubuntu with Apache, we recommend you review the installation instructions for the specific distribution and version you are using, although they will typically be similar.

You will need to place the private key for the Wildcard SSL certificate on Ubuntu servers in a directory that only the Apache server can access. Failing this step can leave your system open if a hacker were to gain access to the private key file.

It will be important to know the SSL configuration file and the directories in the VirtualHost. In some cases, you may need to add specific directives to complete the install.

The final step is to save the new configuration, based on the specific steps for the Apache version and distribution and then restart the server. Some servers may require a full stop and then start as opposed to a restart. Again, this will vary based on the specifics of the Apache server you are using.

At Comodo, our team is here to help you at any point in time from the Certificate Signing Request to the last day of the validity of the certificate. For more information on the Wildcard SSL for Ubuntu, or if you want specific information on some aspect of the product, please get in touch with us at +1 888 266 6361. You may also want to drop us a chat message at; we would be happy to make sure you get the right answers.

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