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Overview

In the past, cPanel & WHM services used a self-signed certificate. Now all cPanel & WHM services use a cPanel-signed hostname certificate with a Comodo® trust chain. This document explains how the system installs a cPanel-signed hostname certificate and how to disable the automatic installation of a cPanel-signed hostname SSL certificate if you do not wish to use it.


The /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts script

The system runs the /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts script during the nightly cPanel & WHM update (upcp) process. This script performs the following actions:

  • Installs a cPanel-signed hostname certificate on the server, if one does not exist.
  • Updates the SSL certificate for all cPanel & WHM services.
  • Issues a Comodo-signed SSL certificate on any server with a self-signed, expired, or soon-to-expire certificate.

    Note
    titleNote:

    A soon-to-expire certificate means that the SSL certificate expires in three days or fewer.


To execute these actions, the script performs the following steps:

  1. The system creates a Domain Control Validation (DCV) file, which resembles the following example:

    Code Block
    4221C402112E4831C72C2E004614C47C.txt


    Note
    titleNotes:
    • Systems that use EasyApache 3 store this file in the /usr/local/apache/htdocs/.well-known/pki-validation/ directory.
    • Systems that use EasyApache 4 store this file in the /var/www/html/.well-known/pki-validation directory.


  2. The system performs a DNS lookup for the hostname's IP address on the root nameservers. To do this, it runs the following command:

    Code Block
    languagetext
    dig =trace hostname.example.com


    Note
    titleNotes:
    • If the dig command returns multiple IP addresses, the system uses the first IP address that the command returns.
    • In this example, hostname.example.com represents the server's hostname.


  3. The system uses the hostname's IP address to confirm that it can access the Domain Control Validation (DCV) file. To do this, it runs the following command:

    Code Block
    languagetext
    curl 192.0.2.0/AFAA5C66A1EEF5812703A46C21C013B4.txt


    Note
    titleNote:

    In this example, 192.0.2.0 represents the primary IP address, and AFAA5C66A1EEF5812703A46C21C013B4.txt represents the DCV file.


  4. When the local DCV check passes, the system sends a request to the cPanel Store API for the new SSL certificate.

    • If a valid SSL certificate exists and matches the DCV file, the system does not perform any action.

    • If the system must issue a new SSL certificate, the systems sends a request to Comodo.
    • Comodo validates the DCV file from the following IP addresses: 

      Warning
      titleImportant:

      Comodo uses these IP addresses to attempt to access the cPanel server. You must whitelist these IPs in the server firewall. For more information, read our  How to Configure Your Firewall for cPanel Services  documentation.


      Code Block
      languagetext
      linenumberstrue
      178.255.81.12
      178.255.81.13
      91.199.212.132
      199.66.201.132


  5. The system logs the Comodo requests in the /etc/apache2/logs/access file. It also contains user agent strings that show who accesses the DCV file. These user agent strings resemble the following examples:

    Localtab Group


    Localtab
    titlecPanel user agent strings


    Code Block
    languagetext
    linenumberstrue
    192.0.2.0 - - [16/Jun/2016:16:16:16 -0500]  "GET /4221C402112E4831C72C2E004614C47C.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 53  "-" "Cpanel-HTTP-Client/1.0"
    192.0.2.0 - - [16/Jun/2016:16:16:16 -0500]  "GET /4221C402112E4831C72C2E004614C47C.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 53  "-" "Cpanel-HTTP-Client/1.0"



    Localtab
    titleComodo user agent strings


    Code Block
    languagetext
    linenumberstrue
    199.66.201.132 - - [16/Jun/2016:16:18:46 +0000]  "GET /4F571E4CB76F46E37B8118CEA1DB42BA.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 53  "-" "COMODO DCV"
    199.66.201.132 - - [16/May/2016:16:18:46 +0000]  "GET /4F571E4CB76F46E37B8118CEA1DB42BA.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 53  "-" "COMODO DCV"




Optional command line flags

The /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts script includes the following optional flags:

Optional CLI SwitchesDescription
--verbose

Adjusts output to include messages that resemble the following:

  • The system will attempt to replace the self-signed certificate for the “cpanel” service with a signed certificate from the cPanel Store.
  • The system will attempt to replace the self-signed certificate for the “dovecot” service with a signed certificate from the cPanel Store.
  • The system will attempt to replace the self-signed certificate for the “exim” service with a signed certificate from the cPanel Store.
  • The system will attempt to replace the self-signed certificate for the “ftp” service with a signed certificate from the cPanel Store.
--allow-retry

If the cPanel Store continues the hostname certificate request, then the system checks the cPanel Store again in an hour. To do this, it runs the following command:

Expand
titleClick to view...


Code Block
languagebash
/usr/local/cpanel/scripts/try-later --action '/usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts --no-retry' --check '/bin/sh -c exit 1' –delay 60 --max-retries 1 --skip-first



If the system must retry, an entry will apper in the at daemon ( atd ) job queue. Use the following arguments to view, execute, or remove a job:
ArgumentDescription
atq Views queue at jobs.
at -c # Views contents of a specific job number.
at -c # | sh
Manually executes a job.
atrm # Manually removes a job.


Disable a cPanel-signed hostname certificate.

To disable a cPanel-signed hostname certificate's installation, run the following command:

Code Block
languagetext
touch /var/cpanel/ssl/disable_auto_hostname_certificate

To disable the automatic replacement of all expired service certificates and disable notifications about expired or expiring service certificates, run the following command:

Code Block
touch /var/cpanel/ssl/disable_service_certificate_management


Additional documentation

Localtab Group


Localtab
activetrue
titleSuggested documentation


Content by Label
showLabelsfalse
max5
showSpacefalse
cqllabel in ("ssl","comodo") and label = "whm" and space = currentSpace()


Localtab
titleFor cPanel users

Content by Label
showLabelsfalse
max5
showSpacefalse
cqllabel in ("ssl","comodo") and label = "cpanel" and space in (currentSpace(),"ALD")


Localtab
titleFor WHM users

Content by Label
showLabelsfalse
max5
showSpacefalse
cqllabel in ("ssl","comodo") and label = "whm" and space in (currentSpace(),"ALD")


Localtab
titleFor developers

Content by Label
showLabelsfalse
max5
showSpacefalse
cqllabel in ("ssl","comodo") and space = "DD"