To generate a CSR, you first need to create a key pair for your server. These two items are a digital certificate key pair and cannot be separated. If you lose your public/private key file or your password and generate a new one, your SSL Certificate will no longer match your private key. You will have to request a new SSL Certificate and may be charged.
The CSR needs to contain the following attributes:
- Country Name (C): Use the two-letter code without punctuation for country, for example: US or CA.
- State or Province (S): Spell out the state completely; do not abbreviate the state or province name, for example: California.
- Locality or City (L): The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Berkeley.
- Organization (O): If your company or department has an &, @, or any other symbol using the shift key in its name, you must spell out the symbol or omit it to enroll, for example: XY & Z Corporation would be XYZ Corportation or XY and Z Corportation.
- Organizational Unit (OU): This field is the name of the department or organization unit making the request.
- Common Name (CN): The Common Name is the Host + Domain Name. It looks like “www.company.com” or “company.com”.
NOTE: The recommended key bit size is 2048-bit. All certificates that will expire after December 31, 2013 must have a 2048 bit key size
Generate a Key Pair and Certificate Signing Request
- Open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) for IIS. This is normally reached by selecting Start -> Programs -> Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack -> Microsoft Internet Information Server -> Internet Service Manager.
- Expand the Internet Information Server folder by selecting the + sign and then select the + sign next to the computer name.
- Locate the website that is going to be using the SSL Certificate. This is usually the Default Web Site. Right click the website and choose Properties.
- In the Properties window, click the Directory Security tab.
- Click Edit and then click Key Manager.
- In Key Manager window, right click WWW and select Create New Key.
- Choose Put the request in a file that you will send to an authority. Select an appropriate filename (or accept the default).
- Enter values in the next window. Key lengths available will depend on the version and Service Packs installed. Remember the password you enter. Without it, you will not be able to install or back up the certificate. NOTE: You must install a certificate for every website using SSL that has a distinct DNS name. Each website for SSL must also have a distinct IP address.
- You must specify a bit length for the CSR. Choose 2048. NOTE: For Extended Validation certificates the key bit length must be 2048.
- Fill out the appropriate contact information and click Finish. This information can be whatever you like as it will not show on the certificate.
- Key Manager displays a key icon under the WWW icon with a red slash through it indicating it is not complete.
- Choose Exit from the Computers menu. When asked to commit changes, click Yes. You have just created a key pair and a CSR.
- To copy and paste the information into the enrollment form, open the file in a text editor that does not add extra characters (Notepad is recommended).
- Go to the enrollment form and paste the information into the form when prompted for the CSR.