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Oracle® Communications Calendar Server Security Guide
Release 7.0.5

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5 Creating, Exporting, and Importing SSL Certificates

This chapter describes how to create, export, and import SSL certificates, including both self-signed and CA (certificate authority) certificates.


Overview of Self-Signed and Certificate Authority Certificates

An SSL certificate is necessary for transmission of encrypted data between a client and a server. A self-signed certificate is one that you create for your server, in the server's KeyStore. You then export and import the exported certificate into the client's TrustStore. A certificate authority (CA) certificate (or CA-signed certificate) is a certificate that has been issued by a trusted third party. To obtain a CA-signed certificate, you create a request file from your self-signed certificate and send it to a certificate authority for approval. You then import this CA-signed certificate into the server's KeyStore, replacing the self-signed certificate.

One advantage to using a CA-signed certificate instead of a self-signed certificate is that you do not need to import the CA-signed certificate into the client's TrustStore. The client already has a trusted root certificate for that CA either in the Glassfish Server instance or in the browser itself.

Creating a Self-Signed Certificate

In general, you use the Java keytool command to create a self-signed certificate on the same server where the KeyStore is located. If you create the self-signed certificate on another server, you need to transfer it from that server to the server where it will be used to create the KeyStore.

  1. Decide on a certificate name.

    At a minimum, the certificate file should have .jks as its extension.

  2. Determine if the KeyStore file already exists on the server.

    keytool -list -v -keystore path_to_keystore_file
  3. Generate the self-signed certificate and place it in the KeyStore.

    keytool -genkeypair -alias alias_name -keyalg RSA -validity #_of_days -keysize 2048 -keystore path_to_keystore_file


    • alias_name: Specifies a word of your choice, for example, the fully qualified domain name of the server host.

    • #_of_days: Specifies the number of days that the certificate is to be valid.

    • 2048 is the recommended key size.

    • path_to_keystore_file: Specifies the path to the KeyStore. This file or its parent directory must exist.

  4. If you are going to have the certificate signed by a CA, you can skip to "Creating a CA-Signed Certificate Request". However, while you are waiting for the CA to return your certificate, you can use your self-signed certificate by continuing with the next steps.

  5. Export the certificate needs to a certificate file.

    keytool -export -alias alias_name -keystore path_to_keystore_file -rfc -file path_to_certificate_file


    • alias_name: Specifies the same alias that was used to generate the certificate.

    • path_to_keystore_file: Specifies the same KeyStore path that was used to generate the certificate.

    • path_to_certificate_file: Specifies the exported certificate file, often given an extension of .cert.

Installing the Self-Signed Certificate on the Client

The certificate file generated in the previous step must be transferred to the client host and imported into the truststore of the client.

To import the certificate into the truststore of your client:

keytool -importcert -alias alias_name -file path_to_certificate_file -keystore truststore_file


  • alias_name: Specifies a word of your choice, usually the same word you used when generating the certificate.

  • path_to_certificate_file: Specifies path to where you stored the certificate file.

  • glassfish_truststore_file: Specifies the TrustStore file used by your client.

Creating a CA-Signed Certificate Request

To generate a CA certificate request using keytool:

./keytool -certreq -alias alias_name -keystore path_to_keystore_file -file request_file


  • alias_name: Specifies the alias that you gave to the self-signed certificate when you created it.

  • path_to_keystore_file: Specifies path to the KeyStore file that holds your self-signed certificate.

  • request_file: Specifies path to the request file output. This file is sent to the CA.

Submit the certificate request and get the certificate approved by the CA. As there are many ways to have your certificate request approved, this step is left up to you.

Importing a CA-Signed Certificate

When you receive the certificate from the CA it can be imported into your KeyStore on the server.

./keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias alias_name -file certificate_file -keystore keystore_file


  • alias_name: Specifies the alias that you gave to the self-signed certificate when you created it.

  • certificate_file: Specifies the path to the CA-signed certificate file.

  • keystore_file: Specifies the path to the server KeyStore.