How to Install OpenSSL on Ubuntu in Different Ways

How to Install OpenSSL on Ubuntu

OpenSSL is a widely used open-source toolkit for SSL/TLS protocols. Installing OpenSSL on Ubuntu will help you efficiently manage SSL certificates, secure your server, and enable encrypted communication.

In this guide, you will learn how to install OpenSSL on Ubuntu and troubleshoot common issues that may arise.

Before Installation

Before installing OpenSSL on Ubuntu, ensure that your system meets the following prerequisites:
Ubuntu Operating System: You should have a working installation of Ubuntu. You can install OpenSSL on various versions of Ubuntu, including the latest releases.

  1. Root or Sudo Access: You need administrative privileges to install software on Ubuntu – either root access or a user account with sudo privileges.
  2. Internet Connection: Ensure that your Ubuntu system has an active internet connection to download packages from the Ubuntu repositories or external sources if necessary.
  3. Package Manager: Your Ubuntu system should have a package manager installed and configured. The most commonly used package managers on Ubuntu are apt and aptitude.
  4. Storage Space: Verify that you have sufficient free disk space available to accommodate the installation of OpenSSL and its dependencies. Although OpenSSL is relatively small, additional packages and libraries may require extra space.
  5. Update Package Lists: Before installing OpenSSL, update the package lists with the latest version from the repositories.
  6. Optional: Compiler and Development Tools (for compiling from source): If you plan to compile OpenSSL from source, you’ll need to install essential development tools and libraries such as gcc, make, and others.
  7. Check for Existing Installation: To check if OpenSSL is already installed on your Ubuntu system, you can use the openssl version command: openssl version. If OpenSSL is installed, you’ll see output similar to OpenSSL 1.1.1f 31 Mar 2020.

There are different ways to install OpenSSL on Ubuntu, depending on what you like and need. Let’s walk through the three most common ones:

Method 1: Using apt Package Manager (Repository)

This is the most common method and ensures that you get the version of OpenSSL available in the official Ubuntu repositories.

  1. Open the Terminal by searching for “Terminal” in the application menu or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Type or copy-paste the following commands into the Terminal:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install openssl

Similar to the apt method, you can also use the apt-get command to install OpenSSL.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openssl

Running these OpenSSL commands will first update your system’s list of available software packages, then install OpenSSL. To confirm that OpenSSL was installed successfully, type the following command in the Terminal:

openssl version

If OpenSSL is installed correctly, you should see the version number displayed in the Terminal.

Method 2: Compiling from Source

If you need a specific version of OpenSSL or want to customize the installation, you can compile it from source. This method gives you more control over the installation process but requires more effort.1

  1. Download the OpenSSL source code from the official website or clone the repository from GitHub:

    git clone
  2. Navigate to the OpenSSL directory:

    cd openssl
  3. Configure the build:

  4. Compile the source code:

  5. Install OpenSSL:

    sudo make install

When you install OpenSSL, it goes to specific folders on your system like /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/lib. However, if you want to choose where it goes, you can use the –prefix option.

Method 3: Using Docker

If you prefer to isolate the installation using containers, you can use Docker to install OpenSSL. Run the following command:

docker pull ubuntu
docker run -it ubuntu /bin/bash
apt update
apt install openssl

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Installing OpenSSL on Ubuntu usually goes smoothly, but like any software installation, there can be hiccups. Here are some common issues and troubleshooting steps:

  1. Package Not Found: Sometimes, the package manager might not find OpenSSL, or it might be under a slightly different name. You can ensure you have the correct package name by running:

    apt-cache search openssl
  2. Outdated Package List: Your package list might be outdated. Update it using sudo apt update before trying to install OpenSSL again.
  3. Dependency Issues: OpenSSL might have dependencies that are not met. The package manager usually handles this, but if you encounter errors about missing dependencies, you can try installing them using:

    sudo apt install <package_name>
  4. Conflicting Packages: If you have other versions of OpenSSL installed, there might be conflicts. Try removing conflicting packages or select the correct version during installation.
  5. Permission Issues: If you encounter permission errors during installation, confirm you use sudo to install the package with administrative privileges.
  6. Firewall or Proxy: If you’re behind a firewall or using a proxy, it might interfere with the download. Your network settings must allow the package manager to download packages.
  7. Corrupted Packages: Sometimes, packages can get corrupted during download. Try clearing the package cache using:

    sudo apt clean

    and install OpenSSL again.
  8. Repository Issues: If the repository you’re using is down or experiencing issues, you might encounter problems with package installation. Try using a different repository.

If none of the above solutions work, searching online forums or asking for help on Ubuntu or OpenSSL communities can provide insights from others who may have encountered similar issues.


Now that you know how to install Open SSL on Ubuntu, choose the method that best fits your requirements in terms of ease of installation, version control, and customization options. Regardless of the method you pick, ensure that you follow best practices for security and keep OpenSSL updated.

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