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Enable OCSP Stapling on Apache

To enable OCSP Stapling on Apache:

  1. First check that Apache HTTPD Server 2.3.3 or above is installed by running one of the following commands:

    apache2 –v

    httpd -v

Versions lower than 2.3.3 do not support OCSP stapling, so you should update Apache before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial.

  1. Check whether OCSP stapling is already enabled or not:
     
    • Go to https://sslanalyzer.comodoca.com/ , enter your website address and click ‘Analyze’
       
    • Scroll down to ‘Certificate Status Details’
       
    • If OCSP is enabled, the “OCSP Stapling” row will say ‘Good’
       
    • If OCSP is not enabled, the “OCSP Stapling” row will say ‘Not Supported’

Alternatively, you can check by running the following OpenSSL command:

openssl s_client -connect [my-domain.com]:443 -status

If OCSP is enabled, the OCSP Response Data section should say:

OCSP Response Status: successful (0x0)

If it is not enabled, you won’t see any OCSP Response Data.

  1. If step 2 revealed no evidence that OCSP is enabled on your server, it is first worth checking that Apache can actually connect to our OCSP servers. Our OCSP servers are at the following locations:

DNS HOSTNAME(S)

Destination IP

Port

OCSP.ComodoCA.com
OCSP.usertrust.com

178.255.83.1 or 2a02:1788:2fd::b2ff:5301

Tcp/80

 

 

 

 

To check connectivity, use the following telnet command:

telnet OCSP.ComodoCA.com 80

If the test is successful the reply will state ‘Connected to OCSP.ComodoCA.com’ for at least one of the ‘Destination IP’ addresses in the table above.

If the test is unsuccessful the replies will state ‘Network Unreachable’ and/or ‘Connection Timed Out’. Please make the required network changes to allow your Apache server to connect to our OCSP servers. Once complete, we advise you to re-run the test in step 2 to establish whether OCSP stapling is already enabled.

  1. To enable OCSP stapling you need to edit the virtual host configuration file for your site using the editor of your choice (example editors include nano or vi):

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/your-domain.com-ssl.conf

Make the following changes:

  • Add the following lines inside the <VirtualHost> tags:

SSLUseStapling on

SSLStaplingResponderTimeout 5
SSLStaplingReturnResponderErrors off

  • Add a line inside the tags which points to a trusted certificate chain file. This must contain the intermediate & root certificates in order:

SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/full_chain.pem

  • Add the following line outside the <VirtualHost> tags:

SSLStaplingCache shmcb:/var/run/ocsp(128000)

Use the example below as a reference configuration:

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>

  SSLStaplingCache shmcb: /var/run/ocsp(128000)

  <VirtualHost *:443>
      ServerAdmin admin@your-domain.com
      ServerName your-domain.com
      DocumentRoot /var/www

      SSLEngine on
      SSLUseStapling on

      SSLStaplingResponderTimeout 5
      SSLStaplingReturnResponderErrors off

      SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/your-domain.com/your_certificate.crt
      SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/your-domain.com/your.key

      SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/full_chain.pem

   </VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

  1. Test your configuration is OK:

    apachectl –t
     
  2. Restart Apache if OK:

    service apache2 reload
     
  3. Verify OCSP Stapling is working by repeating  step 2.
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