[stunnel-users] Is it usual/recommended to have key and cert in ONE stunnel.pem file?

John Long codeblue at inbox.lv
Tue Oct 29 10:27:12 CET 2013

On Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 08:31:37AM +0100, Ben Stover wrote:
> Hello John,
> thank you for your clarification.
> Two more additional questions:
> According to stunnel guide I created a cert + key with the following command:
> openssl.exe req -new -x509 -days 3650 -nodes -config stunnel.cnf -out stunnelcert.pem -keyout stunnelkey.pem
> 1.) For what do I need here the 
> -config stunnel.cnf  parameter?

I'm not a stunnel developer so I am not the right person to answer your
questions, but in general the cnf input to openssl contains overrides for
things that control the operation and output of openssl for that
command. For example, what capabilities does the cert assure (SSL, email,
etc.) and the size of the key. There are many many more.

> I am prompted by openssl for the content values during generation anyway.
> Can stunnel.cnf be seen only as a default value pattern for the created cert during generation?
> Can I omit this parameter?

I'll let somebody who knows this specific use (stunnel) answer. It may be
they give you good defaults and it may be you need to have certain
settings. I haven't looked at it since I don't use it when I generate certs
because I use my own CA and sign my CSRs.

> 2.) After creation of cert+key I have to specify them (as client) in stunnel.conf (with "o") as follows:
> cert = stunnelcert.pem
> key = stunnelkey.pem

The client does not need and must not have access to the private key. The
key belongs to the server. The cert contains the public key for use by the
client to be able to authenticate contact with the server. If you're talking
about authenticating clients then each party (client/server) must have the
other's certificate, but the private keys must remain in the node
(client/server) to which they belong and are not shared.


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