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From Justin Pasher <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Proper way to reference intermediate certificates in Apache 2.2.x
Date Fri, 19 Nov 2010 20:04:59 GMT
----- Original Message -----
> From: Ray Van Dolson <>
> Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 09:07:09 -0800
> Subject: [users@httpd] Proper way to reference intermediate 
certificates in Apache 2.2.x
> To:
> I just updated a Verisign certificate for one of our sites, and noticed
> Firefox was complaining that it wasn't valid.  This usually happens
> when Verisign's released a new intermediate certificate, and I
> typically just install the new one and point to it using
> SSLCACertificateFile.
> This time around, that didn't work.
> I RTFM and it seemed that SSLCACertificateFile had nothing at all to do
> with intermediate certs, and everything to do with client
> authentication, and that I _should_ be using SSLCertificateChainFile.
> Several posts[1][2] I stumbled across seemed to confirm this as well.
> I made the change in configuration directive, and sure enough,
> everything began working.
> Upon checking, I realized I have several other sites using
> SSLCACertificateFile to point to an (older) intermediate cert file from
> verisign.  I'm curious why this works when it appears to be the wrong
> configuration directive for the job, but doesn't with the new
> intermediate cert file?

I'm no expert on these directives, but I'll share my experience. If you 
look carefully at the description of the SSLCertificateChainFile 
directive, you'll see that it the big difference is that 
SSLCACertificatePath (and I assume SSLCACertificateFile) have the side 
effect of also allowing client certificates signed by that CA. 
Essentially the SSLCertificateChainFile directive allows you to break 
out the intermediate CA to only apply for the server certificate and not 
client certificates. I personally have never used client certificates, 
so in practice there is no difference for my setup.

Justin Pasher

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