Certificate Signing Request

About Certificate Signing Requests

The first step in requesting a certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) usually requires creating what is called a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). There are several tools available to help with creating a CSR, but Cerberus FTP Server includes an easy-to-use CSR generation tool that you can use to easily create a CSR and private key for your server.

Check out our video tutorial on this subject

Watch our video on creating a certificate signing request, or continue below for step-by-step instructions on how to create a certificate signing request in Cerberus FTP Server.

Step-by-step Guide

Cerberus FTP Server includes an easy-to-use CSR wizard that will generate a private key file and CSR file for you. You can start the CSR Wizard by opening the Tools menu and selecting the Generate a CSR menu item.

The CSR process generally involves the following steps:

  1. Generate a CSR file and a private key file using the Cerberus CSR Dialog. The CSR file contains your public key.
  2. Submit the CSR file to your preferred CA. Make sure you keep the private key file.
  3. The CA will take your CSR and generate a trusted SSL certificate from it.
  4. Download the trusted SSL certificate from the CA, and assign it as the Certificate on the Security page in Cerberus.
  5. Assign your Private Key on the Security page.
  6. Download the intermediate certificates file from the CA (sometimes called a CA bundle file), and assign it as the CA File on the Security page.

How to generate a certificate signing request

Certificate Signing Request Wizard

Creating a Certificate Signing Request

Fill in all of the required fields for the CSR and then press the Generate button. After you select the Generate button, a directory selection dialog box will appear to allow you to specify a directory to save the private key and certificate signing request files.

Make sure you save both the private key file, and the CSR file. You will need both of these files.

Submitting your CSR to a Certificate Authority

You will submit the CSR file to your CA and keep the private key file.  Once your CA has approved your CSR they will issue you a signed public certificate file.  This signed public certificate file from your CA and the private key file, created during your certificate signing request, together represent your server public and private key pair.

The CA will usually provide several different format options for the signed public certificate. The preferred format is a PEM-formatted certificate (the same format Apache web server uses). PEM is also called a Base64 encoded DER certificate. You can tell if a certificate is in this format by opening it in a text editor, and looking for the beginning and ending lines “—–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–” and “—–END CERTIFICATE—–“.

Assigning your Certificate and Private Key in Cerberus FTP Server

The final step involves assigning the signed public certificate file and private key file as your public key pair in the Security page of the Server Manager.

  1. Open the Server Manager by selecting the Configuration -> Server Manager item from the main menu.
  2. Select the Security page.Assigning your certificate and private key
    Security settings page of the Server Manager
  3. Under the Server Key Pair group, Click the file selection button file selection button next to the Certificate edit control.
  4. A file open dialog will appear that will allow you to select the public certificate provided from your certificate authority.
  5. Under the Server Key Pair group, Click the file selection button file selection button next to the Private Key edit control.
  6. A file open dialog will appear that will allow you to select the server’s private key. This file was generated when you first created your CSR.
  7. Most CAs provide a CA bundle file that contains all of the intermediate CA certificates leading up to your signed certificate. If your CA provides a CA bundle file, download and assign that file to the CA File field.
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