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Multiple Websites and SSL Certificates on Apache (Same IP Address)

Posted on 2014-11-03
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Last Modified: 2014-11-04
Hello Experts!

I understand by using vhosts file I *should* be able to get this working but I do not understand how apache will know which certificate to use? Upon http request, will apache present the certificate for the first vhost in the list or will it check the header and present the correct certificate? I am looking for information on how it handles this request. Someone told me the only way to do this is by adding a 2nd ip address for the 2nd website/certificate as a 2nd vhost. Is this possible to do with a single IP address or do I need more IP addresses for each website/certificate? Please provide your expertise and insight. Thank you very much.

Also if any documentation is available I would appreciate your links.
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Question by:zequestioner
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by:Stampel
Stampel earned 250 total points
ID: 40419431
It will check for the header only if you require SNI which is explained here :
https://wiki.apache.org/httpd/NameBasedSSLVHostsWithSNI
If you have a choice, add a second IP for this it will work for all client browsers.
SNI is not supported on older brothers
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by:Kent W
ID: 40419470
Due to the nature of SSL you must use a different ip per certificate.  It's designed this way specifically.
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by:Stampel
ID: 40419493
Partially wrong, using SNI you can use a single IP adress which will work on actual browsers.
Please refer to this link :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Web_Servers/Apache/Q_28541415.html
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Kent W earned 250 total points
ID: 40419566
Due to the iffy nature in all browsers supporting, and just for SSL in general, I don't suggest hacks. You can also do this with private IPs and another local port redirector, but I would only suggest using these in dev environments. But, we don't often have need for signed dev sites. Public sites, I'd highly recommend configing SSL correctly.  Otherwise we are kind of circumventing the reason to serve a signed cert in the first place.
Just my 10 cents.
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by:zequestioner
ID: 40419604
Thanks for the info everyone!
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 40422935
Note that one solution hosting companies use is a SAN certificate - if you have ten servers on one host, get a single certificate that has all ten domains listed.

SNI is a cleaner solution, but some older browsers don't have support for it.
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