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Creating Stand Alone SSL/TLS Certificates

In the RCL Portal, you can create Stand Alone single-domain SSL/TLS certificates using HTTP and DNS challenges. Your domain can be hosted with any domain registrar.

You will need to manually download and install the certificate in your web server.

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When a certificate is close to expiration, you should delete the certificate and create a new one. Then, install the renewed certificate in your web server.

You can create a TLS/SSL certificate by using either the :

  • HTTP-01 Challenge or
  • DNS-01 Challenge

Create a SSL/TLS Certificate using HTTP-01

The RCL Portal uses the HTTP-01 challenge type to issue certificates for :

  • primary domains (e.g. contoso.net)
  • subdomains (e.g. store.contoso.net).

To validate your domain with the HTTP challenge, you will be required to place a file in the root of your website and ensure that this file can be accessed publicly on the web.

Wildcard subdomains (e.g. *.contoso.net) are NOT supported with the HTTP-01 challenge type. Use the DNS-01 challenge type for wildcard certificates instead.

Create a SSL/TLS Certificate

  • In the ‘Certificates’ module of the portal, click on the Create New SSL/TLS Certificate link

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  • Select the Stand Alone Certificate option

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  • Add the data to create the certificate. The image below illustrates data for a sample site.

    • The Host Name is the primary domain (eg: contoso.com) or subdomain (eg: store.contoso.com) that your are requesting the SSL/TLS certificate for.

    • In this case, we are requesting a SSL/TLS certificate for the primary domain, ‘shopeneur.com’

    • The root domain is the ‘apex’ domain. For instance, the root domain for the hostname: ‘shop.contoso.com’ is ‘contoso.com’. Similarly, the root domain for the hostname : ‘contoso.com’ is ‘contoso.com’ and ‘*.contoso.com’ is ‘contoso/com’.

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  • Clieck the Create button when you are done

  • In your hosted website, you will need to create a folder named: .well-known/acme-challenge (note the dot at the start) in the root of your website.

  • Add a extension-less file with the file name identified in the HTTP Validation page. To this file, add the file content identified in the HTTP Validation Page.

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  • The following example image illustrates the file in the web root directory

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Note: - for sites hosted in a Windows Server in IIS, extension-less files are not served by default. To solve this, add the following web.config file to the acme-challenge folder.

<configuration>
    <system.webServer>
        <staticContent>
            <mimeMap fileExtension="." mimeType="text/plain"/>
        </staticContent>
    </system.webServer>
</configuration>
  • Ensure the website and ‘well known’ file can be accessed publicly on the web. Click on the link to test your validation file on the HTTP Validation Page

  • For a successful test, you should see the validation value in the web browser.

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  • If the test is successful, click the Validate button. If the test is not successful the certificate creation will fail.

  • You will need to wait up to 10 mins to validate the site and install the certificate. When this is done, the SSL/TLS certificate will be displayed in the certificates list.

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  • When this is done, the SSL/TLS certificate will be displayed in the certificates list.

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  • You can download the SSL/TLS certificate or the relevant certificates files for installation in your webserver is the Certificate Details page.

Create a SSL/TLS Certificate using DNS-01

RCL uses the DNS-01 challenge type to issue certificates for :

  • primary domains (e.g. contoso.net)
  • subdomains (e.g. store.contoso.net)
  • wild card subdomains (e.g. *.contoso.net)

Add A SSL/TLS Certificate

  • In the ‘Certificates’ module of RCL , click on the ‘Create New SSL/TLS Certificate’ link.

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  • Select the Stand Alone Certificate option

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  • Add the data to create the certificate. The image below illustrates sample data.

  • The ‘Host Name’ is the primary domain (eg. contoso.com), subdomain (eg. shop.contoso.com) or wildcard subdomain (eg. *.contoso.com) that your are requesting the SSL/TLS certificate for.

  • In this case, we are requesting a SSL/TLS certificate for the custom primary domain, ‘shopeneur.com’.

  • The root domain is the ‘apex’ domain. For instance, the root domain for the hostname: ‘shop.contoso.com’ is ‘contoso.com’. Similarly, the root domain for the hostname : ‘contoso.com’ is ‘contoso.com’.

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  • Click the ‘Create’ button when you are done

  • In your management portal from your domain registrar, add a DNS TXT record (name/host) as defined in the ‘DNS Validation’ page (note the underscore ‘_’) with the value as defined on the page.

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  • This is an example of a DNS record

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  • You can test the DNS record in the Dig site. In the site add the name identified in the DNS Validation page; and select the TXT record. The value for the record will be shown in the ;ANSWER section

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  • If you see the correct DNS TXT record and value, the test is successful

  • If the test is successful, click the Validate button.

  • You will need to wait up to 10 mins to validate the site and install the certificate. When this is done, the SSL/TLS certificate will be displayed in the certificates list.

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  • When this is done, the SSL/TLS certificate will be displayed in the certificates list.

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Accessing the TLS/SSL Certificate

  • To access the certificate, click the Details button in the certificates list page.

  • You can download the certificate in .PFX, .CER, .CRT or .PEM formats.

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  • You can also download the Certificate files required for installation in specific web servers (Apache, Apache Tomcat, NGINX, etc). The files include :

  • Certificate Private Key (.key)
  • Primary Certificate (.crt)
  • Intermediate Certificate (CA Bundle) (.crt)
  • Full Chain Certificate (.crt)

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Certificate Installation

You will need to manually download and install your certificate in your web server. The following links provides instructions on how to install the certificate in a web server

Certificate Renewal

When a certificate is close to expiration, you should delete the certificate and create a new one.

Rate Limits

There is a rate limit of 50 SSL/TLS certificates per subscription.

In addition, Let’s Encrypt has instituted rate limits to ensure fair usage by as many people as possible. To find out more about these rate limits please refer to the following link :