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From Sander Temme <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Apache HTTPD 2.2.6 + mod_ssl 2.2.6 -- odd error...
Date Wed, 01 Dec 2010 06:26:17 GMT

On Nov 30, 2010, at 8:37 PM, J.Lance Wilkinson wrote:

> But my httpd log files present an unexpected error each and every time a
> browser visits an SSL encrypted page (2 examples cited):

So there is no discernible negative impact on the client?

> User interface error
> unable to load Private Key
> 22439:error:0906A068:PEM routines:PEM_do_header:bad password
> read:/on10/build-nd/G10U10B0B/usr/src/common/openssl/crypto/pem/pem_lib.c:401:
> Any idea what these might be?

It's hard to guess what's going on here without a backtrace.  A cursory glance at the OpenSSL
source suggests that things FAIL when this error is triggered, so successful SSL connections
seem unlikely under those circumstances.  I would not be surprised if this should cause your
server to fail to start.  

So the fact that it doesn't happen when the server starts (which is when we read the SSL private
keys and certificates from disk), and does not cause the connections to the browser to fail,
suggests that this does not have anything to do with mod_ssl.  

What other modules do you have that might be reading a private key from a PEM blob on every

> I have already verified that the private key file is NOT password protected. I've also
seen notations on both sites for Apache and mod_ssl:
>        "Why does my 2048-bit private key not work?"
> both seem to say say that 2048-bit private keys are NOT ALLOWED because of incompatibility
w/ certain web browsers.  Meanwhile it's not clear that I could even generate a 2048-bit public
key without having a 2048-bit private key.  So how could these COMODO certs EVER work if this
was the issue?

Surely that is very old and no longer relevant.  If you visit
, you will find it protected by a 4096 bit key.  

> Count this with a layer of extreme urgency, as this new vendor is my only
> source for certificates now, and I have two production webservers with current
> certs expiring in about 30 hours that I need to replace w/ these new certs.

Besides the weird error messages, what is the impact on functionality at this point? 


Sander Temme
PGP FP: FC5A 6FC6 2E25 2DFD 8007  EE23 9BB8 63B0 F51B B88A

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