Installing a SSL certificate in custom control panel

Posted on 2009-04-15
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I ordered a free SSL certificate from and need to install it on a hosting account at Comodo sent me 5 .crt files and the hosting provider's custom control panel is requiring text entered in 4 memo boxes:

- Key
- Certificate
- Request
- CA

The files I received are:

- AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt
- ComodoUTNSGCCA.crt
- EssentialSSLCA_2.crt
- painmgr_com.crt
- UTNAddTrustSGCCA.crt

What needs to be entered in the control panel?
Question by:greatcomputing
    LVL 50

    Accepted Solution

    Not knowing exactly what you were sent or what you have, it is hard to say.  Generally, "key" is the private key you generated for the server.  The private key is used to generate a certificate request.  That request is sent to a CA (like Comodo or GeoTrust), who approves it and issues a certificate.  Sometimes the CA is (or uses) an intermediate CA.  In those cases, you need to install a chain of certificates.  Basically:

    (Trusted CA) --> (your certificate)

    (Trusted CA) --> (intermediate CA) --> (intermediate CA) --> (issuing CA) --> (your certificate)

    The Trusted CA will be a company whose certificates are in the default store for the major browsers.  Companies like GeoTrust and Verisign, for example.  If your CA is or uses an intermediate, most browsers will not have those certificates, so you need to install them to create an unbroken chain from a trusted CA down to your cert.  

    It certainly looks like you received a chain of certs to install, but how to get it into a specific control panel will differ by vendor.  I recommend you talk to your host for assistance, since installing chains may not even be possible through their interface.

    Author Comment

    After contacting FreeHostia and then contacting Comodo I received an updated "bundle" certificate file which contained all of the "chained" CA texts to paste in the control panel CA field.

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