Installing SSL Certificate on Ubuntu

You can find instructions for installing an SSL certificate on an Ubuntu web server below.

Before You Start

Before you start, please make sure you have downloaded your certificate files. Still haven't downloaded your certificate? To get instructions for how to download your certificate (.zip), you can click here

After downloading your certificate, you should have a ZIP containing the following certificate files:

  • certificate.crt
  • ca_bundle.crt
  • private.key

Step 1: Upload Certificate to Server

First, copy your certificate files to the directory where you keep your certificate and key files. Typically, this directory is /etc/ssl/ for your certificate.crt and ca_bundle.crt files, and /etc/ssl/private/ for your private.key file.

Step 2: Adjust Apache.config File

Next, you will need to find the Apache configuration file on your server. Typically, you will find the configuration file in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/your_site_name.

In case you cannot find your configuration file, you can run the following command:

sudo a2ensite your_site_name

Once the Apache configuration file is located, you will need to configure the virtual host section of your website. Before you do so, please make sure to create a backup of your current *.conf file. This way, you will be able to undo any changes in case something goes wrong.

A typical Virtual Host file looks like the file below:

DocumentRoot /var/www/site
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/certificate.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/private.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/ca_bundle.crt

The part above highlighted in bold is the one you will need to edit based on the file paths your certificate files are located in. Please make sure the attributes in bold don't have a "#" (comment) prepended; if they do, please remove that symbol to uncomment them.

As mentioned above, you will need to change the file names to match your certificate files and their location on the server:

  • SSLCertificateFile: This is your primary SSL certificate file (certificate.crt)
  • SSLCertificateChainFile: This is your CA-Bundle file (ca_bundle.crt)
  • SSLCertificateKeyFile: This is your private key file (private.key)

To verify whether or not your configuration works, you can run the following command:


Next, save your Apache configuration file and restart your server using one of the commands below:

  • apachectl stop
  • apachectl start
  • apachectl restart

In case something goes wrong along the way, please rest assured that you will be able to revert your Apache configuration file using the backup you have created earlier in the process. This way, you will be able to start over again.


Your site has now been secured using your new SSL certificate!

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