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How to create self-signed certificates?

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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I'm not sure of the question I should be asking at the moment, so if I outline what I want to do instead, perhaps someone can help?

I have several Gentoo machines, running as servers.  Two are NET-facing and the rest are LAN-facing.  At the moment I'm just working on one of the LAN-facing ones.

I've installed Dovecot/Postfix/Apache and am testing Dovecot.  It works when authenticating in plain text, but I would like to get it to work over SSL.  I think Dovecot has the ability to create it's own self-signed certificate, but I want one certificate for the whole machine to use - not just Dovecot.

The error I get is "Could not establish encrypted connection because certificate presented by <hostname> contains an invalid signature".

So my question is, bearing in mind that I have a few other servers to configure, how do I create a self-signed certificate for each server?  And should I be purchasing certificates from VeriSign for the NET-facing ones?

Kind regards,
Steve
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