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Enable SSL in Apache for 'localhost' (OSX, El Capitan)

Enable SSL in Apache (OSX)

The following will guide you through the process of enabling SSL on a Apache webserver

  • The instructions have been verified with OSX El Capitan (10.11.2) running Apache 2.4.16
  • The instructions assume you already have a basic Apache configuration enabled on OSX, if this is not the case feel free to consult Gist: "Enable Apache HTTP server (OSX)"

Apache SSL Configuration

Create a directory within /etc/apache2/ using sudo mkdir /etc/apache2/ssl
Next, generate two host keys:

sudo openssl genrsa -out /etc/apache2/server.key 2048
sudo openssl genrsa -out /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key 2048
sudo openssl rsa -in /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key -out /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key.rsa

Create a configuration file using sudo touch /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.conf
Edit the newly created configuration file and add the following:

default_bits = 1024
distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
req_extensions = v3_req


basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
subjectAltName = @alt_names

DNS.1 = localhost
DNS.2 = *.localhost

Generate the required Certificate Requests using

sudo openssl req -new -key /etc/apache2/server.key -subj "/C=/ST=/L=/O=/CN=/emailAddress=/" -out /etc/apache2/server.csr
sudo openssl req -new -key /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key.rsa -subj "/C=/ST=/L=/O=/CN=localhost/" -out /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.csr -config /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.conf

Note: Complete the values C= ST= L= O= CN= to reflect your own organizational structure, where:

  • C= eq. Country: The two-letter ISO abbreviation for your country.
  • ST= eq. State or Province: The state or province where your organization is legally located.
  • L= eq. City or Locality: The city where your organization is legally located.
  • O= eq. Organization: he exact legal name of your organization.
  • CN= eq. Common Name: The fully qualified domain name for your web server

Use the Certificate Requests to sign the SSL Certificates using

sudo openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in /etc/apache2/server.csr -signkey /etc/apache2/server.key -out /etc/apache2/server.crt
sudo openssl x509 -req -extensions v3_req -days 365 -in /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.csr -signkey /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key.rsa -out /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.crt -extfile /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.conf

Add the SSL Certificate to Keychain Access.

sudo security add-trusted-cert -d -r trustRoot -k /Library/Keychains/System.keychain /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.crt

Apache Configuration

Edit the Apache main configuration file /etc/apache2/httpd.conf and enable the required modules to support SSL :

LoadModule socache_shmcb_module libexec/apache2/
LoadModule ssl_module libexec/apache2/

Enable Secure (SSL/TLS) connections

Include /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-ssl.conf

Apache Virtual Host Configuration

Edit the Virtual Hosts file /etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf and add the SSL Directive at the end of the file:

<VirtualHost *:443>
    ServerName localhost
    DocumentRoot "/Library/WebServer/Documents"

    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/localhost.key

    <Directory "/Library/WebServer/Documents">
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all
        Require all granted

Finally restart Apache using : sudo apachectl restart
Open Safari and visit https://localhost to verify your configuration.

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