Replacing default certificates in iManager 2.7 (non-OES install)

  • 3092268
  • 11-Oct-2007
  • 11-Sep-2015


Novell iManager 2.7
Novell eDirectory 8.8 for Linux
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Novell Certificate Server (PKIS)



When iManager 2.7 is installed on a Linux server (non-OES) Tomcat5 web service is used for HTTP\HTTPs . This service uses two sets of certificates for securing two different types of SSL traffic. This document discusses the second type of certificate (Tomcat certificate) described below.

1. LDAP Certificate
This secures the backend traffic between these two services. By default, when a user logs in, iManager will create a secure LDAP connection to eDirectory. First it will try the the JVM keystore. If that fails it tries the iManager specific keystore located in /var/opt/novell/iManager/nps/WEB-INF/iMKS. Using the default settings, iManager populates this keystore on-the-fly by importing the eDirectory Root CA certificate. (This behavior can be changed via the /var/opt/novell/iManager/nps/WEB-INF/config.xml file.)

For more information please see the following:

Tomcat certificate.
A second certificate and keystore are used for secure HTTPS traffic between a client web browser and iManager's Tomcat service. This is the certificate that must be accepted by all client browsers connecting to iManager. By default a temporary, non-CA signed certificate is generated during the installation of iManager which:
  • is not signed,
  • has a CN of "Temporary Certificate", and
  • has an expiration date of one year. 
It is recommended to replace this certificate as soon as possible prior to its expiration.  Moreover, when configuring a web access management product (WAMP) to authenticate to iManager, a certificate chained to a CA must be used.  Otherwise the WAMP (such as iChain, NAM, etc.) to iManager authentication will fail.

There are multiple options for replacing the default temporary certificate initially used in iManager\Tomcat.  Among the more popular are:
  • generating a public and private key within eDirectory using Novell Certificate Server
  • buy a signed server certificate from one of the many certificate vendors.
(Instructions on how to use 3rd party certificates vary. Please refer to the specific vendor website for more information.)


NOTE: this TID was based on the original version of iManager 2.7.  If using the latest iManager 2.7 SP7, please refer to the following information in the iManager 2.7 SP7 Installation Guide found at:

The remainder of this document will discuss the former option -- generate a public and private key within eDirectory using Novell Certificate Server.

Novell Certificate Server is a robust solution that securely generates, tracks, stores and revokes certificates with no further investment. A brief overview of the steps include
  • create the keypair in eDirectory
  • export the Public, Private and Root CA keys via a PKCS#12 file onto the Linux file system
  • modify Tomcat's server.xml configuration file in order to use the PKCS12 directive and point to an actual P12 file.
File Locations:
The temporary keypair is held in the /var/opt/novell/novlwww/.keystore file.
The file for configuring Tomcat's use of certificates is /etc/opt/novell/tomcat5/server.xml

Below are the steps to replace the Temporary Certificate with an eDirectory certificate:

1. Create a new Server Certificate.
Login to iManager and select the Novell Certificate Server role | Create Server Certificate - Select server and choose a Nickname | Next | Finish
2.  Export the Server Certificate to the tomcat home directory (/var/opt/novell/novlwww).
  • Login to iManager and select the Directory Administration role | Modify Object | Browse to and select the Server Certificate (created in step 1)
  • Select the Certificates Tab
  • Select the Certificate to use and select Export
  • Select the Server Certificate from the drop down menu (select the Certificate created in step 1)
  • Also confirm "Export private key" is selected, and enter a password
    (For demonstration purposes, we will use the password of "changeit")
  • Next | Click "Save the exported certificate" link and save the file to the /var/opt/novell/novlwww/ directory where iManager default keystore is installed.
3. Convert the pkcs12 (pfx) file to a PEM file.
nts32:/var/opt/novell/novlwww # openssl pkcs12 -in cert.pfx -out cert.pem
Enter Import Password:

Input the password used in step 2. (Step 2 used "changeit")

MAC verified OK

Once the password is verified, you will be prompted to enter a new password to protect the new PEM file. You can use the same password, or a different password, if desired. This new password is used to protect the private key.

Enter PEM pass phrase:
Verifying - Enter PEM pass phrase:

4. Convert the .pem file to a .p12 file.
nts32:/var/opt/novell/novlwww # openssl pkcs12 -export -in cert.pem -out cert.p12 -name "nts32-iManager"
Enter pass phrase for cert.pem:
Enter Export Password:
Verifying - Enter Export Password:

The "pass phrase" for cert.pem is the password used in Step 3. When prompted to "Enter Export Password"you must use use the password "changeit". Tomcat will use this password by default. The certificate is secure due to its directory location.
5. Stop Tomcat
/etc/init.d/novell-tomcat5 stop
6. Edit the tomcat configuration file (/etc/opt/novell/tomcat5/server.xml), modifying the Connector port="8443" section:
Tomcat5 (iManager 2.7)
maxThreads="150" minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75"
enableLookups="false" disableUploadTimeout="true"
acceptCount="100" debug="0" scheme="https" secure="true"
clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" keystoreType="PKCS12"
Tomcat4 (for iManager 2.6)
port="8443" minProcessors="5" maxProcessors="75" enableLookups="true"
acceptCount="100" debug="0" scheme="https" secure="true"
useURIValidationHack="false" disableUploadTimeout="true">
clientAuth="false" protocol="TLS" keystoreType="PKCS12"
to add the bold statements regarding keystoreType and keystoreFile while substituting in the applicable .p12 filename.
NOTE: When the keystore type is changed to PKCS12, you must specify the entire path as Tomcat will no longer default to using the Tomcat home path.

7. Change the .p12 file ownership to novlwww and permissions to user=rw, group=rx and others=r.
nts32:/var/opt/novell/novlwww # chown novlwww cert.p12
nts32:/var/opt/novell/novlwww # chmod 654 cert.p12
8. Restart Tomcat
nts32:/var/opt/novell/novlwww # /etc/init.d/novell-tomcat5 start
9. Open a web browser and go to https://ip_address:8443/nps/iManager.html

When connecting to iManager and selecting to view the certificate during the Security Alert dialog, one can see that the subject name is the server's name, the certificate has a two year expiration and there exists a Certification Path up to the tree's Organizational CA.
If there are any problems look for error messages in /var/opt/novell/tomcat5/logs/catalina.out

Change Log

Changed step 7 from
Change the P12 file ownership to novlwww and permissions to user=rw, group=rw and others=r.
Change the P12 file ownership to novlwww and permissions to user=rw, group=rx and others=r.

2015-Sept-09 kklemm:
 - updated link to point to direct documentation location (of self-signed certs) vs. generic documentation site.
 - updated for readability with bullets and font changes for files and iManager mouse clicks.

2015-Sept-11 kklemm:
 - updated step #6 under linux to further clarify which section to update (Connectory port="8443")