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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] adding SSL - is a distinct virtual host mandatory?
Date Tue, 04 Oct 2005 06:44:13 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Axel-Stéphane SMORGRAV
> If you are planning on serving both SSL and non-SSL 
> connections, then yes, a separate virtual host is necessary 
> for one of the two.
> The fact is that the SSLEngine directive is only valid in a 
> server or virtual host context. I do not know the reason for 
> that, but I am sure there is one.

Just to clear up some apparent confusion on this thread: I think the point everyone is missing
is that an SSL-encrypted website uses a *different protocol* than plain old HTTP. Instead
of thinking of SSL as some sort of add-on (like mod_perl) to a "normal" website, look carefully
at the protocol part of the address - it is "https". So, at a network level, HTTPS is as distinct
from HTTP as FTP or SMTP.

Once you see that, you should see that obviously it needs a distinct TCP/IP socket (ie, IP
address and/or port number).

The confusion arises because browsers and web servers can handle either protocol so we get
the idea that HTTPS is just fancy HTTP. It's not - it needs it's own socket and this is conventionally
achieved by using the same IP as the webserver but on port 443.

This boils down to having a separate port-based VH assigned to port 443 containing all the
SSL directives and a "Listen 443" directive at the server level.

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

PS - did you install mod_ssl?

> The most important things you need to configure are "SSLEngine On", 
> These are the overall settings I use for SSL. Replace 
> everything enclosed in %% by actual values.
> #
> SSLSessionCache         shm:%%SERVER_ROOT%%/logs/ssl_scache
> SSLSessionCacheTimeout  300
> ## On Solaris, I use pthread. I think it works on SuSE as well.
> SSLMutex pthread
> ## Your system may not have /dev/random. In that case you may 
> just use builtin for startup.
> SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/random 1024
> SSLRandomSeed connect builtin
> SSLProtocol All -SSLv2
> SSLVerifyDepth 3
> <Files ~ "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php3?)$">
>     SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
> </Files>
> SSLCACertificatePath %%X509_ROOT%%/ssl.crt
> <Directory "%%SERVER_ROOT%%/cgi-bin">
>      SSLOptions  +ExportCertData +StdEnvVars
> </Directory>
> For the virtual host itself, I generally use the follwing template:
> Listen %%HTTP_ADDR%%:%%HTTPS_PORT%%
> <VirtualHost %%HTTP_ADDR%%:%%HTTPS_PORT%%>
>     ServerName %%PUBLIC_NAME%%:%%HTTPS_PORT%%
>     SSLCertificateFile %%X509_ROOT%%/ssl.crt/%%PUBLIC_NAME%%.crt
>     SSLCertificateKeyFile %%X509_ROOT%%/ssl.key/%%PUBLIC_NAME%%.key
>     SSLEngine on
>     DocumentRoot %%SERVER_ROOT%%/htdocs
>     ErrorLog %%SERVER_LOGS%%/reverse_error_log
>     CustomLog %%SERVER_LOGS%%/reverse_access_log combined env=!dontlog
>     ## Add whatever you need here
> </VirtualHost>
> You can then specify the parameters for the non-SSL 
> connections at server level. What you need is a Listen 
> directives, some log specifications...
> -ascs
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Clarke [] 
> Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 2:26 AM
> To: Apache Users
> Subject: [users@httpd] adding SSL - is a distinct virtual 
> host mandatory?
> SuSE 9.3 hosting Apache 2.0.53 (the build from SuSE installs) 
> and Firefox
> 1.0.6 for a self-contained server and workstation on a laptop.
> I'm working on getting https working for the first time, and 
> keep reading hints that it's usual to make another virtual 
> host to carry the SSL. Is this required, or just "a good 
> idea"? If it's a good idea, why?
> On a closely related topic, I eventually reached the point of 
> creating a self-certified CA and have made my server keys, 
> but the first response I get from an https://localhost access 
> is an alert box from the browser:
>     "the connection to myserver has terminated unexpectedly.
>     Some data may have been transferred".
> I do not even get an alert asking if I want to accept a 
> self-certified certificate, so the problem has to be very 
> early in the sequence.
> Of course I'm going to assume that there's a few SSL config 
> parameters I need to set, but I was hoping that the default 
> .conf supplied by SuSE/Apache would only need the 
> certificates plugging in and it would just work. Are there 
> any SSL config parameters I MUST set before it will work? 
> The documentation lacks a clear tutorial (that I've been able 
> to find) so I'd really appreciate it if someone could 
> enumerate the essential parameters. I'll find out what they 
> all mean from there.
> Thanks in advance,
> A Clarke.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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