Digital certificates for GlassFish Server have already been generated
and can be found in the directory domain-dir`/config/`. These digital
certificates are self-signed and are intended for use in a development
environment; they are not intended for production purposes. For
production purposes, generate your own certificates and have them signed
by a Certificate Authority (CA).
To use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), an application or web server must
have an associated certificate for each external interface, or IP
address, that accepts secure connections. The theory behind this design
is that a server should provide some kind of reasonable assurance that
its owner is who you think it is, particularly before receiving any
sensitive information. It may be useful to think of a certificate as a
"digital driver’s license" for an Internet address. The certificate
states with which company the site is associated, along with some basic
contact information about the site owner or administrator.
The digital certificate is cryptographically signed by its owner and is
difficult for anyone else to forge. For sites involved in e-commerce or
in any other business transaction in which authentication of identity is
important, a certificate can be purchased from a well-known CA such as
VeriSign or Thawte. If your server certificate is self-signed, you must
install it in the GlassFish Server keystore file (keystore.jks). If
your client certificate is self-signed, you should install it in the
GlassFish Server truststore file (cacerts.jks).
Sometimes, authentication is not really a concern. For example, an
administrator might simply want to ensure that data being transmitted
and received by the server is private and cannot be snooped by anyone
eavesdropping on the connection. In such cases, you can save the time
and expense involved in obtaining a CA certificate and simply use a
SSL uses public-key cryptography, which is based on key pairs. Key pairs
contain one public key and one private key. Data encrypted with one key
can be decrypted only with the other key of the pair. This property is
fundamental to establishing trust and privacy in transactions. For
example, using SSL, the server computes a value and encrypts it by using
its private key. The encrypted value is called a digital signature. The
client decrypts the encrypted value by using the server’s public key and
compares the value to its own computed value. If the two values match,
the client can trust that the signature is authentic, because only the
private key could have been used to produce such a signature.
Digital certificates are used with HTTPS to authenticate web clients.
The HTTPS service of most web servers will not run unless a digital
certificate has been installed. Use the procedure outlined in the next
section, Creating a Server Certificate, to set up a digital
certificate that can be used by your application or web server to enable
One tool that can be used to set up a digital certificate is keytool,
a key and certificate management utility that ships with the JDK. This
tool enables users to administer their own public/private key pairs and
associated certificates for use in self-authentication, whereby the user
authenticates himself or herself to other users or services, or data
integrity and authentication services, using digital signatures. The
tool also allows users to cache the public keys, in the form of
certificates, of their communicating peers.
A server certificate has already been created for GlassFish Server and
can be found in the domain-dir`/config/` directory. The server
certificate is in keystore.jks. The cacerts.jks file contains all
the trusted certificates, including client certificates.
If necessary, you can use keytool to generate certificates. The
keytool utility stores the keys and certificates in a file termed a
keystore, a repository of certificates used for identifying a client or
a server. Typically, a keystore is a file that contains one client’s or
one server’s identity. The keystore protects private keys by using a
If you don’t specify a directory when specifying the keystore file name,
the keystores are created in the directory from which the keytool
command is run. This can be the directory where the application resides,
or it can be a directory common to many applications.
The general steps for creating a server certificate are as follows.
Create the keystore.
Export the certificate from the keystore.
Sign the certificate.
Import the certificate into a truststore: a repository of
certificates used for verifying the certificates. A truststore typically
contains more than one certificate.
The next section provides specific information on using the keytool
utility to perform these steps.
To Use keytool to Create a Server Certificate
Run keytool to generate a new key pair in the default development
keystore file, keystore.jks. This example uses the alias
server-alias to generate a new public/private key pair and wrap the
public key into a self-signed certificate inside keystore.jks. The key
pair is generated by using an algorithm of type RSA, with a default
password of changeit. For more information and other examples of
creating and managing keystore files, read the keytool documentation.
RSA is public-key encryption technology developed by RSA Data Security,
From the directory in which you want to create the key pair, run
keytool as shown in the following steps.
Information on the certificate, such as that shown next, will appear:
Owner: CN=localhost, OU=My Company, O=Software, L=Santa Clara, ST=CA, C=US
Issuer: CN=localhost, OU=My Company, O=Software, L=Santa Clara, ST=CA, C=US
Serial number: 3e932169
Valid from: Mon Nov 26 18:15:47 EST 2012 until: Sun Feb 24 18:15:47 EST 2013
Signature algorithm name: SHA256withRSA Version: 3
Trust this certificate? [no]:
Enter yes, then press the Enter or Return key.
The following information appears:
Certificate was added to keystore
Adding Users to the Certificate Realm
In the certificate realm, user identity is set up in the GlassFish
Server security context and populated with user data obtained from
cryptographically verified client certificates. For step-by-step
instructions for creating this type of certificate, see
Working with Digital Certificates.
Using a Different Server Certificate with GlassFish Server
Follow the steps in Creating a Server Certificate to create
your own server certificate, have it signed by a CA, and import the
certificate into keystore.jks.
Make sure that when you create the certificate, you follow these rules.
When you create the server certificate, keytool prompts you to enter
your first and last name. In response to this prompt, you must enter the
name of your server. For testing purposes, this can be localhost.
If you want to replace the existing keystore.jks, you must either
change your keystore’s password to the default password (changeit) or
change the default password to your keystore’s password.
To Specify a Different Server Certificate
To specify that GlassFish Server should use the new keystore for
authentication and authorization decisions, you must set the JVM options
for GlassFish Server so that they recognize the new keystore. To use a
different keystore from the one provided for development purposes,
follow these steps.