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How to Generate a CSR for Nginx (OpenSSL)

The following instructions will guide you through the CSR generation process on Nginx (OpenSSL). To learn more about CSRs and the importance of your private key, reference our Overview of Certificate Signing Request article. If you already generated the CSR and received your trusted SSL certificate, reference our SSL Installation Instructions and disregard the steps below.

1. Log in to your server’s terminal.

You will want to log in via Secure Shell (SSH).

2. Enter CSR and Private Key command

Generate a private key and CSR by running the following command:

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Here is the plain text version to copy and paste into your terminal:

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout server.key -out server.csr

Note: Replace “server ” with the domain name you intend to secure.

3. Enter your CSR details

Enter the following CSR details when prompted:

  • Common Name: The FQDN (fully-qualified domain name) you want to secure with the certificate such as www.google.com, secure.website.org, *.domain.net, etc.
  • Organization: The full legal name of your organization including the corporate identifier.
  • Organization Unit (OU): Your department such as ‘Information Technology’ or ‘Website Security.’
  • City or Locality: The locality or city where your organization is legally incorporated. Do not abbreviate.
  • State or Province: The state or province where your organization is legally incorporated. Do not abbreviate.
  • Country: The official two-letter country code (i.e. US, CH) where your organization is legally incorporated.

Note: You are not required to enter a password or passphrase. This optional field is for applying additional security to your key pair.

4. Generate the order

Locate and open the newly created CSR in a text editor such as Notepad and copy all the text including:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
And
-----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

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Note 1: Your CSR should be saved in the same user directory that you SSH into unless otherwise specified by you.

Note 2: We recommend saving or backing up your newly generate “.key ” file as this will be required later during the installation process.

Return to the Generation Form on our website and paste the entire CSR into the blank text box and continue with completing the generation process.

Upon generating your CSR, your order will enter the validation process with the issuing Certificate Authority (CA) and require the certificate requester to complete some form of validation depending on the certificate purchased. For information regarding the different levels of the validation process and how to satisfy the industry requirements, reference our validation articles.

After you complete the validation process and receive the trusted SSL Certificate from the issuing Certificate Authority (CA), proceed with the next step using our SSL Installation Instructions for Nginx using OpenSSL.

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