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I'm referring to this question. What is the 'passphrase-file' mentioned in here? Please clarify.

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That would be wherever you save the script also noted in the answer. – Xyon Jan 23 '13 at 16:13

In the accepted answer, /path/to/passphrase-file is given as an example path and filename to wherever you decide to put the helper script.

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It contains the passphrase to the private key. For apache to use the certificate, it needs a key to unlock it when apache gets started at boot time, but there is no user interaction so the best choice is to use a passphrase-file. It enters the password for you when apache requests it to enter it. Sometimes the key file doesn't have a password (not recommended) it still might ask for a password. so you will still need one that outputs no text but just like pressing enter.

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To clarify, the passphrase-file is a shell script. You're configuring apache to invoke a shell script when it needs the password instead of prompting on the interactive terminal (SSLPassPhraseDialog exec: means "execute the following program and expect it to return the SSL password"). The example shell script just echos the password back to apache. You can use any script which returns the password in its place, if you wanted to set up more complex authentication.

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