Quick guide to setting up SSL using Domino as the Certificate Authority

Technote (FAQ)


What steps can you follow to set up SSL on a Lotus® Domino® server using Domino as the Certificate Authority? Is there a quick guide other than the detailed steps in the Lotus Domino Administrator help?


Below are the steps to configure SSL on a Lotus Domino server using Domino as the Certificate Authority (CA). This method takes advantage of the Domino CA's keyring form that automatically creates the server key ring and the server certificate request, signs it with the CA certificate, then installs the CA certificate and the signed server certificate into the server key ring. For detailed steps and information, refer to the Domino Administrator Help section "Using a Domino 5 certificate authority."

Note: This method of configuring SSL does not use the server task called the CA Process. For information on that method of configuring SSL, which was introduced in Domino 6, refer to "Quick guide to securing a Domino server with SSL using the CA process" (#1193730).

Steps to create the files:
1. Create the Domino Certificate Authority database from the Domino R5 Certificate Authority (cca50.ntf) template if needed.

2. Open the Certificate Authority database (from the Domino Administrator, click Files, and open the Domino Certificate Authority application). Select the first option "1. Create Certificate Authority Key Ring & Certificate."

    Picture of Setup options:

3. Fill in the required fields on the form to create the key ring file for your Certificate Authority. Enter a unique name for the Common Name field of the form to identify the Certificate Authority. Do not use the host name of the server as the Common Name of the Certificate Authority key ring, as that would conflict with the Server key ring Common Name which you will define later in this process. Be user to use
1024 in the Key Size field.

Picture of Key Ring form

4. Click the button "Create Certificate Authority Key Ring." This creates a key ring file (by default named CAkey.kyr) for the Domino Certificate Authority .

5. From the main menu, select "2. Configure Certificate Authority Profile" to set a profile for the Certificate Authority. Most of the information on this page does not need to change, and the fields that are blank are optional and can be left blank if desired. Be sure that the caKey.kyr (or the name entered on for the Key Ring File Name in Step 3) is listed at the top. The last entry, "Default validity period", has a default value of 2 years. The maximum for this is 10, but the validity period defined must result in an end date earlier than the validity date of the Certificate Authority's key ring itself. Verify the information on the page is correct, then click Save and Close.

6. From the main menu, select the third option, "3. Create Server Key Ring & Certificate." You also start from this option when you want to make an additional server's key ring.

7. Fill in the required fields on the Create CA Server Key Ring form. Pay attention to the following requirements:
  • Be sure to enter the fully qualified host name of the server in the "Common Name" field. This should be identical to the host name that Web users will be entering in the URL to access the server.
  • The Key Size should be set to 1024, as Internet Explorer browsers no longer accept 512 bit certificates.
  • The CA Certificate Label field should be "CAKeyPair" if you initially used "1. Create Certificate Authority Key Ring & Certificate."
  • The State or Province name must not be abbreviated
    Picture of the Server Key Ring form

    8. Once the form is complete, select "Create Server Key Ring." Domino then creates the server key ring (by default keyfile.kyr), creates the server certificate request, signs it with the CA certificate, then installs the CA certificate and the signed server certificate into the server key ring.

    9. Copy the key ring files (by default named keyfile.kyr and keyfile.sth) to the Data directory of the Domino server on which you wish to enable SSL. You can find these files in the data directory of the Notes client that you used to create them.

    Steps to configure SSL on the server:
    1. Verify that the key ring files created previously are in the Data directory of the Domino server.
    2. Open the Server document for this server. Go to the Ports -> Internet Ports tab.
    3. If necessary, change the entry in the SSL key file name field to reflect the name of the server key ring file.
    4. Make sure that SSL port status is set to enabled. Optionally, to force SSL to be used for all connections, change "TCP/IP Port Status" to "Redirect to SSL."
    5. Save and close the Server document.
    6. Restart the HTTP task at the server console.

    Steps for Web browser (optional):
    Because you are using a private Certificate Authority, in some cases when a Web browser user access the server using HTTPS, the user might see the following warning message:
      "The security certificate was issued by a company you have not chosen to trust..."

    Picture of complete warning message

    To resolve this warning, you have to trust the Certificate Authority. Once you have trusted the Certificate Authority into your browser, the security check is cleared and any subsequent access does not result in a security alert.

    1. To trust the Domino Certificate Authority, open the Certificate Authority database in your Web browser.
    2. Select "Accept This Authority In Your Browser" and follow the on-screen steps to install the trusted root into your browser.

    Or you can execute steps in the Web browser to accept the certificate. Steps for commonly used Web browsers are provide below.

    For Microsoft Internet Explorer 6:
    1. Click "View Certificate"
    2. Click "Install Certificate"
    3. Follow the on-screen prompts

    For Microsoft Internet Explorer 7:
    The warning message that appears is "There is a problem with this website's security certificate."
    1. In the warning message, click "Continue to this website"
    2. In the next window, click the Certificate Error next to the address bar to launch a pop-up dialog in which you click "View Certificates"
    3. Click on the "Certification Path" tab, and select the top-most entry, which should have red X. Then click "View Certificate"
    4. Click "Install Certificate"
    5. Follow the on-screen prompts in the installation wizard

    For Firefox:
    1. Click "Accept this certificate permanently"
    2. Click Ok

    Document information

    More support for:

    IBM Domino

    Software version:

    7.0, 8.0, 8.5

    Operating system(s):

    AIX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS

    Reference #:


    Modified date:


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