23 July 2012

SSL/HTTPS - problems with kdb files

I'm active Experts Exchange contributor, and there's this SSL/kdb problem. I indulge myself into publishing my comment to one of the questions (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/Application_Protocols/SSL/Q_27794894.html) here (with some edits):

It's on CMS format (IBM Key Database file) and problems with opening it with your ikeyman tool (with WebSphere java):
  • for CMS it is IBM proprietary format (like LTPA) and is not available in non-IBM JRE/JDKs, BUT I also had this issue that WAS's JDK could not open CMS (kdb) files - can't really say why as I did not troubleshoot it. but the workaround that worked for me was to run ikeyman not from /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServ
er/java but from different WAS package JRE - like UpdateInstaller or InstallationManager - I'm sure you have either installed on your machine so try them.
I just now checked how it looks like when running ikeyman from: C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\java\jre\bin I can operate on CMS files but when running  from: C:\Program Files (x86)\IBM\Java60\jre\bin I can't, so it might be something with your java paths. If you can't figure it out, try the workaround I suggested above (UI or IM java)
  • difference between kdb and p12 is - at least this is "emiprical" difference experienced by me - that kdb usually houses many certificates (signer&personal) for use by applications, whereas p12 is usually used to carry one certificate from an issuer to the owner (for instance I get my corporate certificate in p12 from supplier). just "any" java's keytool or any gsk7 won't be able to open kdb file, it must me somewhere near ;) WebSphere  
  • if you use kdb file for your IHS, don't forget to indicate your certificate as "default" in the kdb file. I was looking for the way to set cert alias to use from within httpd.conf file, but it seems to be impossible
  • I thought that IHS uses ONLY kdb database to get certifcates from but I just found that you may simply supply crt file - PEM encoded (example: http://rimuhosting.com/howto/modssl.jsp) 

  • some reference - different product, but usage of gsk7 commands is given:
  • ocenter/tivihelp/v3r1/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.tivoli.itws.doc_8.5.1%2Ffipsensurenetwork.htm

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