I have my domains configured on AWS on ElasticBean stalk as shown below :

enter image description here

For portal-production and portal-qa , I am planning to get a domain validated certificate from Alpha SSL and in order to do that, I need to generate a CSR, an on the Alpha SSL website, they have mentioned list of web servers to choose from :

Alpha SSL

So, since I have everything on AWS, I am wondering how should I figure out which webserver I should use and secondly do I need to work on AWS in order to generate CSR? Please advise

1 Answer 1


What they're really doing with this question is trying to decide which of several possible formats you want the certificate delivered in, without actually asking you.

Choose Apache -- even if you aren't using Apache -- because this should get you the certificate and chain files you need, in an easily usable format for anything in AWS.

This is the standard answer I give to my customers who buy their own certs, when I'll be installing the certs for them in AWS.

  • I can use Apache but I believe that will be on my machine and not on AWS. Is there any way I should figure out the web server on location and work on AWS. Please advise. Thanks
    – John
    Jan 28, 2016 at 23:12
  • When I say "AWS" I mean an EC2 (inclduding Elastic Beanstalk) web server or proxy (Apache, Nginx, HAProxy), Elastic Load Balancer, or CloudFront. They all work with certificates in pretty much the same format, which is what you'll get if you select "Apache" from the list of platforms shown at your CA's web site. As for your configuration, if these are single-instance beanstalk environments, see: docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/… Jan 29, 2016 at 2:46
  • Thanks for the explanation. I have three instances running as shown here (2 for production which are load balanced and one for qa) i.sstatic.net/Gpb16.jpg. 1)So, basically for generating certificate for two domains(production and QA), I can install Apache and then generate certificate. I wondering how would the certificate that will be generated would be unique for the two domains (QA and Production). Is there any step while generating the certificate where I would be specifying the precise domain name?
    – John
    Jan 29, 2016 at 5:07
  • 2) I was told that by someone that .ebextensions directory is the self signed certificate that someone generated.Could that be true? However, the documentation says that it contains configuration files. docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/… Do you know where .ebextensions folder is located on AWS? Thanks
    – John
    Jan 29, 2016 at 5:08
  • 1
    @John Just to clarify, your initial question was 'which to choose' and the answer is 'it makes no difference'. This is because certs are output in a standard format - the options are there only to guide in generating one. And you don't need Apache installed at all. You only need the openssl package which is almost certainly installed on your server(s). Jan 29, 2016 at 9:59

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