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Certdog Cert PowerShell Script

This script can be used to generate certificates, track them and auto-renew

CSRs are generated on the machine hosting the script and certificates stored in the Local Machine certificate store

You can obtain the script from github here


An instance of certdog is required. See here for options


The script can generate a local CSR (stored in the Local Machine certificate store), with additional SANs (subject alternative names), if required

This can be processed by the certdog application, and the issued certificate installed

The script can also create a scheduled task which will, by default, run every day and check the expiry of the certificates created and monitored via this script. When nearing expiry, the certificate will be automatically renewed

Get the Script

Take a look at the script here or download the official signed version from here

You should have the following files:

  • certdog-cert.ps1

  • settings.json

Save these to a local folder on the machine hosting the IIS instance

Settings (settings.json)

Settings are stored within the settings.json file. Sample contents:

	"certdogUrl" : "",
	"certIssuerName" : "Test CA",
	"renewalDays" : 30,
	"csrKeyLength" : 2048,
	"csrHash" : "sha256",
	"csrProvider" : "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider",
	"csrProviderType" : 12,
	"exportable" : "FALSE",
	"eventLogId" : 5280,
	"errorLogId" : 5281
  • certdogUrl

The URL of the certdog installation’s api. If using the Docker image the default setting will operate OK, replace with if using the test system

  • certIssuer

The name of the certificate issuer as configured in certdog (e.g. Certdog TLS)

  • renewalDays

When the script is run with the -renew option this value will be used when deciding whether to renew certificates or not

If a certificate is expiring in renewalDays (or fewer) the renewal process will initiate

  • csrKeyLength

When a new CSR is generated (when creating a new or renewing a current certificate), this key length will be used

  • csrHash

The hash used to generate the CSR

  • csrProvider

This is the Microsoft provider that will be used to generate the CSR

  • csrProviderType

This depends on the csrProvider selected and must match. See here for more information

  • exportable

If TRUE then it will be permitted for the private key of the issued certificate to be exported (e.g. as a password protected PFX/PKCS#12 file)

  • eventLogId

This is the Event Log ID that will be assigned to entries the script adds. If monitoring events, you may need to note this value. It can also be updated here

  • errorLogId

This is the Event Log ID that will be assigned to entries the script adds when errors occur. If monitoring error events, you may need to note this value. It can also be updated here


Open a PowerShell window as Administrator

Simple run options:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new

This will prompt for all information including the certdog login as well as the binding and certificate details. See the sample output below for more details

To provide the certdog authentication details (and not be prompted for username/password), run:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new -username [certdoguser] -password [certdogpassword]

To provide all required information (removing all prompting):

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new -username [certdoguser] -password [password] -sans [SAN List] -dn [Required DN] -saveCreds y -createTask y -taskUsername [taskUsername] -taskPassword [taskPassword]

For example, to generate a certificate with a DN of,O=Org,C=GB, Subject Alternative Names of and saving the certdog username and password and creating a task which is run under user domain\user1 with password password:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new -username certdoguser -password password -sans "," -dn ",O=Org,C=GB" -saveCreds y -createTask y -taskUsername "domain\user1" -taskPassword "password"

Once the above has been performed the script saves the required information. Running:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -renew

Will check and process any renewals required for the sites and bindings configured when the -new switch was used

As above, this can be run with the username and password options:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -renew -username [certdoguser] -password [certdogpassword]

To list what bindings are being monitored:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -list

To create a scheduled task that runs the .\certdog-iis.ps1 -renew script daily, run

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -taskonly

To override the certdog URL as specified in the settings.json file, use -certdogUrl e.g.

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new -certdogUrl

To ignore any SSL errors (if the certdog URL is not protected with a trusted cert), use -ignoreSslErrors e.g.

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -new -ignoreSslErrors


When configuring the script (i.e. running with the -new option), all output is to the console

When checking for renewals (when running with the -renew option) output is to a log file and the Windows Event Log. This is because this option will usually be run from a Scheduled Task (or other scheduler)

The log files are contained in a directory called .\logs created at the same location as the script. Each log file is named:




Entries are added to the Windows event log. With the ID (eventLogId) as specified in settings.json. If an error occurs an error log entry will be added with the ID errorLogId - again, this is specified in settings.json


The script requires the certdog credentials. That is the username and password of a user who has access to the Certificate Issuer configured in certdog

These credentials can be saved by the script as secure strings which are tied to the user account on the machine running the script. This means that the -renew option can be run without requiring the username or password to be specified. And this is how the script will be called from the Scheduled Task

Note that for this to work, the account the scheduled task runs under must be the same as the account the scheduled task runs under. This could be your own account or a service account

If you wish to run the scheduled task under the LOCAL SYSTEM account you may use pstools to start a powershell as LOCAL SYSTEM, then set the credentials by running the following:

.\certdog-cert.ps1 -setcreds

These will then be accessible by the LOCAL SYSTEM account


It is a good idea to test that the renewal actually works as expected. This is easy to confirm with certdog as we can create an internal CA with a short lifetime certificate profile for testing. Then we can set the renewalDays period to be short and confirm everything works as expected

  1. Create a local certificate issuer, if not already done so. See the guide here. Create a profile which has a lifetime of 1 day
  2. Update the settings.json file and set renewalDays : 1 and the certIssuerName to whatever you have called the certificate issuer
  3. Run certdog-cert.ps1 -new and create a new certificate, store the credentials and create a scheduled task
  4. The task, by default, should run that night (or early next morning). You can run the task on demand before this. Monitor the Event Log for events from source certdog and event ID’s as configured in settings.json (these are 5280 and 5281 by default)
  5. If everything gets renewed OK you know the accounts etc. are all good
  6. Now update settings.json to point to the chosen Certificate Issuer and update the renewalDays to be a reasonable time before your certificates expire and you want them renewed