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Creating New Keystores - Carbon 4.2.0 - WSO2 Documentation
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WSO2 Carbon-based products are shipped with a default keystore named  wso2carbon.jks , which is stored in the  <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security  directory. This keystore comes with a private/public key pair that is used for all purposes, e.g., for encrypting sensitive information, for communication over SSL and for message encryption/signing purposes in WS-Security. You can either use one new keystore for all purposes in your product, or you can create multiple keystores for each purpose.

Before you start creating new keystores and replacing the default keystore configurations with new ones, be sure to go through the recommendations for setting up keystores in WSO2 products.

Let's start creating a new keystore:

If you are creating a new keystore for data encryption, be sure to acquire a public key certificate that contains the Data Encipherment key usage. See the keystore recommendations for more information. 

Creating a keystore using an existing certificate

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol that is used to secure communication between systems. This protocol uses a public key, a private key and a random symmetric key to encrypt data. As SSL is widely used in many systems, certificates may already exist that can be reused. In such situations, you can use the CA signed certificates to generate a Java keystore using OpenSSL and the Java keytool.

  1. First you must export certificates to the  PKCS12/PFX  format. Give strong passwords whenever required.

    In WSO2 products, it is a must to have same password for both keystore and key.

    Execute the following command to export the certificates:

    openssl pkcs12 -export -in <certificate file>.crt -inkey <private>.key -name "<alias>" -certfile <additional certificate file> -out <pfx keystore name>.pfx
  2. Convert the PKCS12 to a Java keystore using the following command:

    keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore <pkcs12 file name>.pfx -srcstoretype pkcs12 -destkeystore <JKS name>.jks -deststoretype JKS

    Now you have a keystore with CA signed certificates.

Creating a keystore using a new certificate

If there are no certificates signed by a Certification Authority, creating a keystore with keys and signed certificates involves the steps given below. We will be using the key tool installation that is available with your JDK installation.

Step 1: Create keystore with private key and public certificate

  1. Open a command prompt and go to the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory. All keystores should be stored here.
  2. Create the keystore that includes the private key by executing the following command:

    keytool -genkey -alias certalias -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -keystore newkeystore.jks -dname "CN=<testdomain.org>,OU=Home,O=Home,L=SL,S=WS,C=LK" -storepass mypassword -keypass mypassword 

    This command will create a keystore with the following details: 

    • Keystore name: newkeystore.jks
    • Alias of public certificate: certalias
    • Keystore password: mypassword
    • Private key password: my password (this is required to be the same as keystore password)

    Note that if you did not specify values for the '-keypass' and the '-storepass' in the above command, you will be asked to give a value for the '-storepass' (password of the keystore). As a best practice, use a password generator to generate a strong password. You will then be asked to enter a value for -keypass. Click Enter, because we need same password for both keystore and key. Also, if you did not specify values for -dname, you will be asked to provide those details individually.

  3. Open the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory and see that the new keystore file is created. Make a backup of it and move it to a secure location. This is important as it is the only place with our private key. 

Step 2: Create CA-signed certificates for public key

Now we have a .jks file. Then we need to use that keystore (.jks) to generate a certificate signing request (CSR). CSR is the file we need to provide to the certificate authority (CA).

  1. Execute the following command to generate the CSR:

    keytool -certreq -alias certalias -file newcertreq.csr -keystore newkeystore.jks

    As mentioned before, use the same alias here that you used during the keystore creation process.

    You will be asked to give the keystore password. Once the password is given, the command will output the newcertreq.csr file to the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory. This is the CSR which you must submit to a CA.

  2. Now you must provide this CSR file to the CA. For testing purposes, try the 90 days trial SSL certificate from Comodo.

    It is preferable to have a wildcard certificate or multiple domain certificates if you wish to have multiple subdomains like gateway.sampledomain.org , publisher.sampledomain.org , identity.sampledomain.org , etc., for the deployment. For such requirements you must modify the CRS request by adding subject alternative names. Most of the SSL providers give instructions to generate the CSR in such cases.

  3. After accepting the request, a signed certificate is provided along with several intermediate certificates (depending on the CA) as a bundle (.zip).

    Sample certificates provided by the CA (Comodo)

    The Root certificate of the CA: AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt 
    Intermediate certificates:  COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt , COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt 
    SSL Certificate signed by CA: test_sampleapp_org.crt

Step 3: Import CA-signed certificates to keystore

  1. Before importing the CA-signed certificate to the keystore, you must add the root CA certificat and the two intermediate certificates  by executing the commands given below. Note that the sample certificates given above are used as explains.

    keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias ExternalCARoot -file AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword
    keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias TrustCA -file COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword
    keytool -import -trustcacerts -alias SecureServerCA -file COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword 

    Optionally we can append the -storepass <keystore password> option to avoid having to enter the password when prompted later in the interactive mode.

  2. After you add the root certificate and all other intermediate certificates, add the CA signed SSL certificate to the keystore by executing the following command:

    keytool -import -v -alias <certalias> -file <test_sampleapp_org.crt> -keystore newkeystore.jks -keypass myppassword -storepass mykpassword

    In this command, use the same alias that you used while creating the keystore.

Now you have a Java keystore including a CA signed certificate that can be used in a production environment. Next you must add its public key to the  client-truststore.jks  file to enable backend communication and inter system communication via SSL.

Adding the public key to client-truststore.jks

In SSL handshake, client side needs to verify the certificate presented by the server side. For that, client usually stores the certificates it trusts, in a trust store. Related to SSL communication of WSO2 products, this trust store is set as client-truststore.jks which resides in the same above directory as the keystore.  Therefore, we need to import the new public certificate into this trust store for Front End and Back End communication of WSO2 products to happen properly over SSL.

Note that we are using the default client-truststore.jks file in your WSO2 product as the trust store.


To add the public key of the signed certificate to the client trust store in order to use SSL for backend communication.

  1. Get a copy of the ‘client-truststore.jks’ file from the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory.
  2. Export the public key from your .jks file using the following command.

    keytool -export -alias certalias -keystore newkeystore.jks -file <public key name>.pem
  3. Import the public key you extracted in the previous step to the client-truststore.jks file using the following command.

    keytool -import -alias certalias -file <public key name>.pem -keystore client-truststore.jks -storepass wso2carbon

    Note that 'wso2carbon' is the keystore password of the default client-truststore.jks file.

Now you have an SSL certificate stored in a Java keystore and a public key added to the client-truststore.jks file. Note that both these files should be in the <PRODUCT_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory. You can now replace the default wso2carbon.jks keystore in your product with the newly created keystore, by updating the relevant configurations files in your product. For information on the concepts of keystores and about how keystores are used in WSO2 products, see Setting up Keystores.

What's next?

Once you have created a new keystore in your product as explained above, update the relevant configuration files as explained in Configuring Keystores in WSO2 Products.

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