How to Install SSL Certificate on Apache CentOS

Dec 27, 2018

Why Install an SSL Certificate?

Securing your website is of utmost importance in today's digital landscape. Installing an SSL certificate on your Apache CentOS server ensures that all data transferred between your website and your visitors is encrypted and protected.


Before we dive into the installation process, make sure you have the following:

  • A CentOS server with Apache installed
  • The SSL certificate files provided by your certificate authority
  • Basic knowledge of the Linux command line

Step 1: Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

The first step is to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) on your Apache CentOS server. A CSR is a file containing information about your website and server, which will be used by the certificate authority to issue your SSL certificate.

To do this, open a terminal and run the following command:

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

Replace "your_domain" with your actual domain name. Follow the prompts to provide the requested information, such as your organization details and common name (your domain name).

Step 2: Purchase an SSL Certificate

Now that you have your CSR, it's time to purchase an SSL certificate. There are several trusted certificate authorities where you can purchase SSL certificates, such as Sectigo, DigiCert, and GlobalSign. Choose a certificate that suits your needs and budget.

Step 3: Install the SSL Certificate

Once you've obtained your SSL certificate files from the certificate authority, you can proceed with the installation process.

  1. Copy the SSL certificate file (your_domain.crt) and the intermediate certificate file (sometimes provided as ca_bundle.crt) to a directory on your Apache CentOS server.
  2. Open your Apache configuration file (usually located at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf or /etc/apache2/apache2.conf) in a text editor.
  3. Locate the VirtualHost section that corresponds to your website or domain.
  4. Add the following lines inside the VirtualHost block:
SSLEngine on SSLCertificateFile /path/to/your_domain.crt SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/your_domain.key SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/ca_bundle.crt

Make sure to replace "/path/to/" with the actual path to your certificate files. Save the configuration file.

Step 4: Configure Apache for SSL

Once the certificate is installed, you need to configure Apache to use SSL for your website. This involves enabling the SSL module and specifying the SSL protocol and cipher settings.

To enable the SSL module, run the following command:

sudo a2enmod ssl

Next, open your Apache configuration file again and locate the section that starts with "". Inside this section, you can configure SSL settings to best suit your needs.

Step 5: Restart Apache

After making the necessary changes, save the configuration file and restart Apache to apply the new settings. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo systemctl restart httpd

Step 6: Test Your SSL Configuration

Once Apache has restarted, it's important to test your SSL configuration to ensure everything is set up correctly. There are various tools available online that can help you with this, such as SSL Labs' SSL Server Test.

Visit the SSL Server Test website ( and enter your domain name. The test will provide you with a detailed analysis of your SSL configuration, highlighting any potential issues that need to be addressed.


Congratulations! You have successfully installed an SSL certificate on your Apache CentOS server. By securing your website with SSL, you not only protect your visitors' data but also improve your SEO ranking. Users will feel safe browsing your website, which enhances their overall experience.

Remember to periodically renew your SSL certificate as it usually has an expiry date. Stay vigilant and keep your website secure!

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Joseph Niswonger
My website feels so much safer now. Thank you for the guidance.
Oct 31, 2023
Scott Renshaw
I was hesitant at first, but your article gave me the confidence to do it myself.
May 23, 2023
Doug Platt
Wonderful article. Secure websites are a must!
May 8, 2023
Daniel Brien
The prerequisites provide a good overview. Looking forward to the detailed steps.
May 1, 2023
Alden Meyers
This article saved me so much time. Thank you!
Mar 13, 2023
Sean Tabatabai
I'm so relieved I found this article. Highly recommended!
Nov 17, 2022
Heather Cargile
Your article restored my faith in online tutorials. Well done!
Sep 20, 2022
Alex Covarrubias
SSL installation made easy! Can't wait to implement this on my server.
Sep 17, 2022
Daniel Tumpane
I'd love to see more articles like this on server security. Informative and practical.
Aug 22, 2022
Nicole Gosson
The encryption process was intimidating, but your instructions made it manageable.
Aug 7, 2022
Erik Erik
I'm going to share this with my colleagues. It's too good not to!
May 1, 2022
Dan Peterson
SSL is crucial for website security. Thanks for highlighting its importance.
Feb 12, 2022
Brandon Cordell
I appreciate the step-by-step guide. It's so valuable.
Jan 13, 2022
Chris Parker
This article is a lifesaver! So glad I found it.
Jan 11, 2022
Jin Chong
Thank you for empowering website owners with this knowledge. It's empowering.
Jan 10, 2022
Chris Raynes
Kudos to the author for breaking down a complex process into simple steps.
Dec 22, 2021
Tony Cox
This article is like a mini SSL certificate masterclass. I'm impressed!
Dec 10, 2021
Edward Towers
👍 This was exactly what I needed. Clear and concise.
Nov 29, 2021
Frank Gulinello
SSL installation used to be a headache for me. Your guide changed that.
Nov 15, 2021
Gwen Taylor
I've been wanting to secure my site for a while. This was the push I needed.
Oct 26, 2021
Gayle Gosselin
Thank you for emphasizing the importance of SSL. Great read!
Sep 8, 2021
Not Provided
SSL certificates are essential for online security. Thank you for highlighting this.
Aug 5, 2021
Rochelle Chalifoux
I appreciate the step-by-step approach. It makes the process less daunting.
Jul 23, 2021
Dan Kendes
I've bookmarked this for future reference. So useful.
Mar 25, 2021
Add Email
Protecting user data is paramount. SSL installation is a must for all website owners.
Feb 2, 2021
Carly Ruiz
I've been struggling with this, but your article made it so much easier.
Jan 11, 2021
Newrelic Test96575497
Reading your guide made me realize the significance of website security. Eye-opening!
Dec 5, 2020
Brian Rachal
I had no idea it was this simple. Your post is a game-changer.
Nov 21, 2020
Lauren Kusumoto
Great article! Clear instructions and helpful tips.
Oct 28, 2020
Dennis Jacob
Easy to follow and well-explained. Thank you!
Aug 22, 2020
Ann Conageski
Thanks for the clear instructions! Very helpful.
Aug 10, 2020
Matt Suarez
I've been looking for a guide like this. Thanks for sharing!
Aug 8, 2020
Raymond Provided
This article is a valuable resource for anyone managing a website.
Jul 9, 2020
Tom Krysiak
Ensuring data security is vital. This article sheds light on the technical aspect.
Jun 24, 2020
Gari Bontrager
I'm no tech expert, but your guide made me feel like one. Fantastic work.
May 24, 2020
Deana Almen
I can't thank you enough for making a daunting task seem so approachable.
Mar 23, 2020
Mike Huckabee
Could you provide more details in the troubleshooting section?
Feb 12, 2020
Sheryl Driscoll
Thanks for simplifying the SSL installation process. It's much appreciated.
Jan 7, 2020
Scott Larcombe
I didn't realize how important SSL certificates are until reading this. Thanks for the info.
Dec 5, 2019
Greg Burton
SSL installation can be tricky, but this article breaks it down nicely.
Oct 19, 2019
Chris Sheehey
I love how secure SSL makes the website. Thanks for the detailed guide!
Oct 10, 2019
Ender Games
Great tutorial! Worked like a charm.
Jun 19, 2019
Steve Ermish
Seems straightforward. Can't wait to try this on my server.
Jun 12, 2019
Steve Dinn
The importance of SSL has been well explained here. Kudos to the author!
Mar 20, 2019