In this multipart article, we will learn how to use the Let's Encrypt ACME version 2 API using Python to develop software that can create, install, renew and revoke SSL certificates for Alibaba Cloud. The same principles apply to any computing service that supports X.509 SSL certificates.
In this part we will explain how to create your Account Key, Certificate Key and Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
There are numerous methods to create the Account Key. Let's look at two methods: writing a Python program and using OpenSSL from the command line. Included are examples showing how to work with private keys.
""" Let's Encrypt ACME Version 2 Examples - Create Account Key """ from Crypto.PublicKey import RSA filename = 'account.key' key = RSA.generate(4096) with open(filename,'w') as f: f.write(key.exportKey().decode('utf-8'))
import sys import OpenSSL from OpenSSL import crypto filename = 'account.key' key = crypto.PKey() key.generate_key(crypto.TYPE_RSA, 4096) key_material = crypto.dump_privatekey(crypto.FILETYPE_PEM, key) val = key_material.decode('utf-8') with open("account.key", "wt") as f: f.write(val)
We will repeat the above examples to create the certificate key. The difference is that the filename will be the name of our domain name that we will be issuing the certificate for. Change "domain.com" to your domain name.make_certificate_key.py
""" Let's Encrypt ACME Version 2 Examples - Create Certificate Key """ from Crypto.PublicKey import RSA domainname = "example.com" filename = domainname + '.key' key = RSA.generate(4096) with open(filename,'w') as f: f.write(key.exportKey().decode('utf-8'))
A CSR is a file (message) sent to a CA (Certificate Authority - Let's Encrypt) to apply for an SSL certificate. The CSR contains details about who is applying for the SSL certificate such as company name, location, domain name, etc. Since Let's Encrypt only issues DV (Domain Validated) SSL certificates, only the domain names are validated and only the domain names are included in the generated SSL certificate plus an optional email address for contact information. Details such as company name, location, etc. are not included.
Generating a CSR is easy with OpenSSL. All that is required is the domain name and optionally an email address. In the following example, replace domainName with your domain name and emailAddress with your email address.
This example also removes all the subject fields that Let's Encrypt does not process such as C, ST, L, O and OU and does add the subjectAltName extension that Chrome requires.make_csr.py
""" Let's Encrypt ACME Version 2 Examples - Create CSR (Certificate Signing Request) """ importOpenSSL KEY_FILE = "certificate.key" CSR_FILE = "certificate.csr" domainName = 'api.neoprime.xyz' emailAddress = 'email@example.com' def create_csr(pkey, domain_name, email_address): """ Generate a certificate signing request """ # create certificate request cert = OpenSSL.crypto.X509Req() # Add the email address cert.get_subject().emailAddress = email_address # Add the domain name cert.get_subject().CN = domain_name san_list = ["DNS:" + domain_name] cert.add_extensions([ OpenSSL.crypto.X509Extension( b"subjectAltName", False, ", ".join(san_list).encode("utf-8")) ]) cert.set_pubkey(pkey) cert.sign(pkey, 'sha256') return cert # Load the Certicate Key data = open(KEY_FILE, 'rt').read() # Load the private key from the certificate.key file pkey = OpenSSL.crypto.load_privatekey(OpenSSL.crypto.FILETYPE_PEM, data) # Create the CSR cert = create_csr(pkey, domainName, emailAddress) # Write the CSR to a file in PEM format with open(CSR_FILE,'wt') as f: data = OpenSSL.crypto.dump_certificate_request(OpenSSL.crypto.FILETYPE_PEM, cert) f.write(data.decode('utf-8'))
In Part 3 we will begin going through each Let's Encrypt ACME API using the account.key, certificate.key and certificate.csr files to generate and install SSL certificates for Alibaba Cloud API Gateway and CDN.
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