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Set up HTTPS on a Mac local server Type of page »  Developers documentation

HTTPS on a Local Mac Server

This page explains how to set up a local development server on a Mac (with Apache installed) to use HTTPS to more closely mimic the environment on a production website. This involves installing a self-signed SSL certificate and ensuring Apache is configured accordingly. These instructions assume that openssl has been installed. Most of this was obtained from this guide.

  1. Configure SSL settings
    Open the SSL configuration file using in Terminal (using the nano editor in these instructions)
    sudo nano /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-ssl.conf
    1. In the <VirtualHost> section, make sure the settings are as follows;
      1. Change <VirtualHost _default_:443> to <VirtualHost *:443>
      2. Make sure the DocumentRoot is correct for your local server
      3. Change the ServerName to localhost:443
      4. Make sure SSLEngine is set to on
    2. Note the certificate file paths
      1. Find the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile directives
      2. These lines should be uncommented (i.e., no # at the beginning of the line)
      3. Note the path and files names - these will be used later. You can change the location and file name, just make sure that the paths and names here match the actual files you create later. For these instructions we will use the following:
        SSLCertificateFile "/private/etc/ssl/server.crt"
        SSLCertificateKeyFile "/private/etc/ssl/server.key"
  2. Create configuration files
    1. Create a file named server.csr.cnf
      sudo nano /private/etc/ssl/server.csr.cnf
    2. Paste the following into server.csr.cnf, changing location and email values as needed, and then save the file
      [req]
      default_bits = 2048
      prompt = no
      default_md = sha256
      distinguished_name = dn
      [dn]
      C=US
      ST=New York
      L=Rochester
      O=End Point
      OU=Testing Domain
      emailAddress=your-administrative-address@your-awesome-existing-domain.com
      CN = localhost
    3. Create a file named v3.ext
      sudo nano /private/etc/ssl/v3.ext
    4. Paste the following into v3.ext, and then save the file
      authorityKeyIdentifier=keyid,issuer
      basicConstraints=CA:FALSE
      keyUsage = digitalSignature, nonRepudiation, keyEncipherment, dataEncipherment
      subjectAltName = @alt_names
      [alt_names]
      DNS.1 = localhost
  3. Generate certificates and keys
    Navigate to /private/etc/ssl/ and then perform the following
    1. Generate an RSA private key
      sudo openssl genrsa -des3 -out /private/etc/ssl/rootCA.key 2048
      1. You will be asked for a password and a few other questions
    2. Generate the root certificate which will be valid for 1024 days
      sudo openssl req -x509 -new -nodes -key /private/etc/ssl/rootCA.key -sha256 -days 1024 -out /private/etc/ssl/rootCA.pem
    3. Create the private key for the certificate
      sudo openssl req -new -sha256 -nodes -out server.csr -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout server.key -config server.csr.cnf
    4. Generate the certificate
      sudo openssl x509 -req -in server.csr -CA /private/etc/ssl/rootCA.pem -CAkey /private/etc/ssl/rootCA.key -CAcreateserial -out server.crt -days 500 -sha256 -extfile v3.ext
    5. To verify the certificate has the SAN (needed to work in some browsers)
      openssl x509 -text -in server.crt -noout
      • The output should contain this line:
        X509v3 Subject Alternative Name:
        DNS:localhost
  4. Set Apache configurations
    1. Make sure the and ssl_module and socache_shmcb_module are loaded in the Apache Configuration file at /usr/local/etc/httpd/httpd.conf by uncommenting the following lines:
      LoadModule ssl_module lib/httpd/modules/mod_ssl.so
      LoadModule socache_shmcb_module lib/httpd/modules/mod_socache_shmcb.so
      Note: there are different types of socache modules - uncomment the one that matches the uncommented module used in the /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-ssl.conf file you edited at the beginning of these instructions
    2. Restart Apache
      sudo apachectl restart
  5. Go to https://localhost/ and see if it works!

Created by lindon. Last Modification: Sunday 03 March, 2019 03:15:04 GMT-0000 by lindon.

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