Apache HTTPD and DER Encoded Certificate

We are in the process of updating one of the web servers at work to a newer OS – along with a newer Apache HTTPD and PHP iteration. Ran into a snag just setting up the SSL web site – we couldn’t get HTTPD started with our Venafi certificate.

[Fri Jan 28 14:35:05.092086 2022] [ssl:emerg] [pid 57739:tid 139948816931136] AH02561: Failed to configure certificate hostname.example.com:443:0, check /path/to/certs/production/server.crt

[Fri Jan 28 14:35:05.092103 2022] [ssl:emerg] [pid 57739:tid 139948816931136] SSL Library Error: error:0909006C:PEM routines:get_name:no start line (Expecting: CERTIFICATE) — Bad file contents or format – or even just a forgotten SSLCertificateKeyFile?

[Fri Jan 28 14:35:05.092115 2022] [ssl:emerg] [pid 57739:tid 139948816931136] SSL Library Error: error:140AD009:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_use_certificate_file:PEM lib

The certificate was DER encoded – that’s not what I use, but it was working on the old server.

I think there might be something between httpd-2.4.6-97 and httpd-2.4.37-43 that stopped DER encoded certificates from working. Rather than figure out some way to coerce HTTPD to use this DER file that I don’t really care if I’ve got … I just used a quick command to export the B64 version of the certificate, copied the header/footer/stuff in between, and made a base-64 encoded certificate file.

openssl x509 -inform DER -in server.crt | openssl x509 -text

And, voila, we’ve got a web server.


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