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I have a server with some web applications, and I'd like to enable HTTPS to minimize the chance of someone picking up my authentication information.

However, I don't really want to shell out for certificates since I add new sites to this regularly as part of consulting and private projects, so instead I'd just like to create a certificate and convert the site into using HTTPS.

However, this gives me warnings in the browser about untrusted certificates.

How do I go about making my own computers trust these certificates?

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3 Answers 3

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Certificates are organised in a chain of certificates.

First you have a root certificate (public key) (Let's say Verisign etc... who keeps the private key). Then they issue certificates that by signing private/public keys of other people and putting them into certificates.

So for you to trust your own certificates, you have to do the same: create a root certificate and private key, then signing sub-certificates for your site.

Then you add the (public) root certificate to your browser so that he can verify the sub-certificates against the public key of your CA, et voila!

If you create a new site, just issue a new cert for it, and sign it as well.

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Think you might want "Installing and Removing Trusted Certificates" from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/preferences/locale/?returnurl=%252fen-us%252flibrary%252fdd361898.aspx

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Would be good to know the OS and software of your server as well as client to give more specific answers to doing this, but generally speaking, importing your own CA's public key will allow you to trust all the keys signed by that CA.

Alternately, you can also get free, valid SSL certificates through https://www.startssl.com/

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