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How to install an SSL Certificate on Mac OS servers?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

In this step by step tutorial, you will learn how to install an SSL Certificate on Mac OS servers. For users who haven’t purchased a digital certificate yet, we’ve also included a quick guide on how to generate a CSR code on Mac OS servers. In addition to technical instructions, this guide contains a brief history of Mac servers and useful recommendations on where to buy an SSL Certificate compatible with Mac OS servers.

Generate a CSR code on Mac OS servers
Install an SSL Certificate on Mac OS servers
macOS server history and versions
Where to buy an SSL Certificate for Mac OS servers?

Generate a CSR code on Mac OS servers

To activate your SSL Certificate, you have to send relevant details about your domain and company to the Certificate Authority. This standard procedure is known as Certificate Signing Request or simply, CSR. Here’s how to create a CSR code on your Mac OS server:

  1. Log into your Mac OS server. To access your server, open the Finder, locate the Applications, then select Server
  2. Now, pick the server on which you intend to install the certificate. Here you have two options:
    • This Mac – YourServerName – will generate the CSR code on the same server. Enter your admin name and password, and click Allow to continue
    • Other Mac – YourServerName – will create the CSR code on any other server. Enter the hostname/IP address, along with your admin details, and press Allow to proceed
  3. Go to Server section (left pane) and select Certificates
  4. You’ll find an already existing self-signed certificate with your server’s name. Since no browser or application will accept it, you need to add a certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority. Hover your mouse to the bottom of the page, click + button and select the first option: Get a trusted certificate
  5. A new window will pop up. Click Next
  6. It’s time to include the required information into your CSR code. Fill in the fields as shown below:
    • Host name: enter the Fully Qualified Domain (FQDN) name you want to secure. For example, ssldragon.com for single-domain certificates or, *.ssldragon.com for wildcard certs
    • Contact Email Address: provide a valid email address
    • Company or Organization: type the official (legal) name of your company. For instance, GPI Holding LLC. If you don’t have a company, put in NA
    • Department: specify the department in charge of SSL Certificates (e.g. IT or Web Administration). If you don’t have any, type NA
    • Town or City: include the town or city where your organization is registered. For instance, Nashville
    • State or province: submit the state or province where your business is located. For example, Tennessee
    • Country: from the drop-down list select your country
  7. Double-check the details you’ve just entered and click Next
  8. You can now see the newly generated CSR code. Click Save and then Finish. You’ll be able to open the CSR file anytime with TextEdit
  9. Along with the CSR code, the CSR generator will also create the RSA private key. You’ll find it in your Mac’s Keychain.

Once you’ve generated the CSR, you can use it during the order process at your SSL vendor. The CA will verify your application, and, if successful, sing the certificate. You will receive all the necessary SSL files in your email inbox.

Install an SSL Certificate on Mac OS servers

First, prepare your certificate files. Download the zip folder that you received from your CA and extract the files with .crt and .ca-bundle extensions. These files contain your root, intermediate and primary certificates.

We’ll start with the CA bundle file. It includes the root and intermediate certificates, necessary to improve compatibility with older versions of browsers and applications. If you don’t install the CA bundle file, your website may be flagged as not secure by browsers and clients.

  1. Add your .ca-bundle file to the Keychain. Locate the file with the .ca-bundle extension, and search for “Keychain Access” on your Mac
  2. Open the Keychain, and drag and drop the .ca-bundle file into the Keychain Access window
  3. To make sure that both root and intermediate certificates are now in the Keychain, enter the name of your CA in the search bar. You should find the intermediate certificates (blue icons), and root certificates (yellow icons)
  4. Now, let’s focus on your primary certificate. Go to Server > Certificates and, from the main page, double-click on the “pending” certificate
  5. In the new window, drag and drop your certificate file with the .crt extension then click OK
  6. A valid certificate should appear with the issuer’s name and expiration date
  7. Next, you need to assign your new certificate to the services you intend to secure
  8. From the Secure services using list, use the drop-down menu and select your SSL certificate. Click Custom… to assign your cert to services of your choice such as file sharing, mail services, etc
  9. Once you’ve selected all the desired services, hit OK
  10. Congratulations! Now, you know how to install an SSL certificate on Mac OS servers. To get instant status reports on potential errors and vulnerabilities use these handy SSL tools.

macOS server history and versions

macOS Server is an operating system add-on which provides a suite of server programs, as well as management and administration tools for macOS. It derives from former separate operating systems Mac OS X Server, and OS X Server. Unlike previous releases, macOS server is now a much cheaper add-on package available through the Mac App Store.

macOS Server is based on Darwin open source Unix-like operating system. It supports a wide range of services such as file sharing, events scheduling, live video conferences, websites set up, email correspondence and secure instant messages.

The first version of Mac OS was Mac OS X Server 1,0, codenamed Rhapsody. It was released on March 16, 1999. Below you will find all Mac OS server versions with 64-bit application support:

  • Mac OS X Server 10.4 (Tiger) released on April 29, 2005
  • Mac OS X Server 10.5 (Leopard Server) released on October 26, 2007
  • Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard Server) released on August 28, 2009
  • Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion Server) released on July 20, 2011
  • OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion Server) released on July 25, 2012
  • OS X 10.9 (Mavericks Server) released on October 22, 2013
  • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite Server 4.0) released on October 16, 2014
  • OS X 10.11 (Server 5.0) released on September 16, 2015
  • OS X 10.11 (Server 5.1) released on March 21, 2016
  • macOS 10.12 (Server 5.2) released on 20 September, 2016
  • macOS 10.12 (Server 5.3) released on March 17, 2017
  • macOS 10.13 (Server 5.4) released on September 25, 2017
  • macOS 10.13.3 (Server 5.5) released on January 23, 2018
  • macOS 10.13.5 (Server 5.6) released on April 24, 2018.

Where to buy an SSL Certificate for Mac OS servers?

SSL dragon is your one-stop vendor for all your SSL needs. We bring the lowest prices on the market for a wide range of SSL products. We’ve partnered with the best SSL brands in the industry to provide you with high-end SSL security and dedicated support. All our SSL certificates are compatible with Mac OS servers. Here are the SSL certificate types you can get from us:

To help you choose the perfect SSL certificate, we created a couple of useful SSL tools. Our SSL Wizard will find the best SSL deal for your online project, while the Certificate Filter, can help you sort and compare different SSL certificates by price, validation, and features.

If you find any inaccuracies, or you have details to add to these SSL installation instructions, please feel free to send us your feedback at [email protected]. Your input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.