How to Install SSL Certificate on NGINX

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Install SSL On Nginx

Steps to Install SSL on NGINX Web Server

Installing an SSL certificate on your NGINX web server is a great way to secure your website & improve the trustworthiness of your online presence. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to install an SSL certificate on your NGINX web server.

The Prerequisites for Installing SSL Certificate on NGINX

  • NGINX installed on your system.
  • Server certificate issued by a Certificate Authority
  • A user account with sudo privileges
  • Intermediate certificates
  • Generate CSR for NGINX
  • Your private key:

Step 1: Combine All Certificates into a Single File

The Certificate Authority will provide you the SSL through a Zip folder, which contains primary certificate, root & intermediate certificate. You have to merge all three files into a single document.

To do this manually

  • open a text editor.
  • rename it to ssl-bundle.crt.
  • copy/paste the encrypted content of each file.

You can make this process a little easy using the command-line:

Run this command if the intermediate certificates are in a single bundle.

cat your_domain.crt your_domain.ca-bundle >> ssl-bundle.crt

Run this command if all three certificates are listed separately.

cat your_domain.crt intermediate.crt root.crt >> ssl-bundle.crt

Step 2: Edit NGINX Configuration File

Now, it’s time to set up the virtual host file on your machine, it is the NGINX server block that sets up the configuration of your domain. Open the virtual host file with a text editor; if you don’t know the location it run ‘sudo find nginx.conf‘ command and make the following changes to configure your virtual host file.

  • listen 443; to specify that the NGINX should listen to port 443
  • ssl on;
  • ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/ssl-bundle.crt; to define the path of the SSL certificate.
  • /path/to/your_private.key; to specify the directory where the SSL Certificate Key is located.

The Virtual Host file will look like this.

server {
listen 443;
ssl on;
ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/ssl-bundle.crt;
ssl_certificate_key /path/to/your_private.key;
root /path/to/webroot;
server_name your_domain.com;
}
access_log /var/log/nginx/nginx.vhost.access.log;
error_log /var/log/nginx/nginx.vhost.error.log;
location /
{
root /var/www/;
root  /home/www/public_html/your.domain.com/public/;
index index.html;
}
}

Save and exit the file and restart NGINX Server. Simply run the command:

sudo systemctl restart nginx

Step 3: Verify SSL Certificate Installation

The Final step is to verify the SSL Installation, open a web browser and enter your domain name in the address bar. If you see padlock and HTTPS in the URL bar, it indicates the SSL is installed perfectly

Or use our Free SSL Checker tool to make sure the SSL is installed correctly!

Troubleshooting Tips

If you have trouble with your SSL Certificate installation, please check the following points:

  • Make sure all certificates are in the correct order.
  • Make sure that the private key matches up with the server certificate.
  • Check if there is a problem with an intermediate certificate.
  • Verify that all files have been uploaded correctly to the server and that you are accessing them from the correct directory.
  • If possible, try reinstalling or replacing your SSL Certificate.

Looking for a Quick SSL Installation? Certera offers hassle-free SSL Installation Support for your Websites through a dedicated and professional team of experts.

Cheap SSL Certificates
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