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Create an EJBCA Issuer

To configure certdog to be able to request certificates from EJBCA, the following is required:

  • The Web Service option is enabled in EJBCA
    • You can check this from Admin Web. Choose System Configuration then click the Protocol Configuration tab. the Web Service option should be Enabled
  • A User KeyStore
    • This is an end-entity certificate issued from EJBCA’s current ManagementCA that is configured to have access to the RA administrative functions
    • This is the certificate that certdog will use to authenticate to the EJBCA RA. You must obtain this as a JKS (Java Key Store) file from EJBCA
  • A certificate profile must be configured to allow Subject DN Override by CSR and Allow Extension Override. See EJBCA - Sample TLS Certificate Profile fore more details
  • An end-entity profile must be configured with no subject DN attributes and set to allow User Generated tokens. See EJBCA - Sample End Entity Profile for more details

1. Obtaining the User KeyStore

If you are already familiar with EJBCA and issuing certificates for administrator access, skip this section and just ensure that you obtain a password protected JKS with a certificate that has RA Administration privileges

There are several ways in which this can be obtained e.g. via the Admin Web console, the RA (Registration Authority) console or the CLI (Command Line Interface). The following details the RA process

Log on to the RA console

Click Enroll and select Make New Request


The above shows some initial default settings, but there may be specific certificate and end-user profiles configured for this purpose (that limit available options)

Select On server

Choose an algorithm. Note: With the default profiles, you have access to all algorithms, if unsure which to choose, consult with your security personnel, though RSA 2048 bits is a common choice

For the Subject DN Attributes, enter a common name e.g. certdog and scroll down

In the Provide User Credentials section, enter a username and for Enrollment code - just enter a password


You can leave Email empty

Scroll down to the Confirm request section and click Download JKS

Save this file and retain the username and password (Enrollment code) entered above - these are required for the certdog configuration

2. Set Administrator Permissions

From the RA, select Role Management and click Roles. If you have already configured a role which only allows RA administrator access you may use this, otherwise, click Create New Role

For the Role name, enter a name for this role e.g. Certdog RA Administrators

For the Certificate Authorities, add those that you wish to issue certificates from certdog


Select all End Entity permissions

For End Entity Profiles, add those profiles that you want to be applied for certificates issued from certdog. See the EJBCA - Sample End Entity Profile for an example

Click Add


From the list, click Members


Just click Add Role Member


For CA, select ManagementCA, select Match with Serial Number (recommended) then paste in the certificate serial number in the Match Value and click Add. This is the serial number of the certificate created in step 1 above

Note: You can obtain this serial number by choosing Search in the RA, then click Certificates and type the certificate name (e.g. certdog). Copy the serial number and paste into the Match Value above

From the administrative console (/adminweb), under System Functions, select Administrator Roles

Locate the role (e.g. Certdog RA Administrators) and select Access Rules

For the Role Template, ensure it says RA Administrators, select it if not. Check CAs selected are as required and click Save

3. Certificate Profile

Whichever profiles you wish to use with certdog - you must check the Allow Subject DN Override by CSR and Allow Extension Override options. For details on how to configure a sample profile for TLS, see EJBCA - Sample TLS Certificate Profile

4. End Entity Profile

It is recommended that a new End Entity profile be created for certdog. Ensure that under the Main certificate data section, the User Generated option is selected in Available Tokens. This is because certdog will be generating the CSRs (or they will be provided)

For an example on setting up an end-entity profile, see EJBCA - Sample End Entity Profile

certdog Configuration

Before starting this, ensure you have the following:

  • The Web Services URL
    • Usually something like: https://hostname:8443/ejbca/ejbcaws/ejbcaws
  • The user JKS file and its password
    • As created in step 1 above
  • The name of the CA you wish to issue certificates from
  • The name of the Certificate profile you wish to configure

  • The name of the End Entity profile you wish to configure

  • If an un-trusted TLS certificate is used to protect the RA Web Services site, you will also need to download the JKS for the CA that issued this certificate
    • This can be obtained by navigating to CA Certificates and CRLs in the RA and clicking on the JKS option in the Certificate chain column

Set Credentials

First we need to set some credentials. Credentials are password stores that are then referenced by a name. We will need one for the User KeyStore (JKS file) and optionally, one for the Trust KeyStore

From the certdog menu, select Credentials and select Add New Credential


For Credential Type, select Password

Choose a name then enter the password. Note for the User KeyStore, this password will be the one you set in step 1 above when enrolling for the certificate

Click Add

If required, create another credential for the Trust KeyStore (i.e. the keystore downloaded from the CA). This default password for this keystore will be displayed by EJBCA when you download

Configure EJBCA Issuer

From the certdog menu, select Certificate Issuers and select Add New Issuer

For the CA Type, select PrimeKey EJBCA and click Next


Enter the details as follows:

  • Name: This is the name you will refer to this issuer, it has nothing to do with what has been configured in EJBCA and can be a name of your choice

  • Web Services URL: The EJBCA Web Services end point. E.g. https://hostname:8443/ejbca/ejbcaws/ejbcaws

    If this end point is protected with a TLS certificate which is not trusted by the certdog system (and this will be the case if an initial EJBCA installation has just been performed), browse to the Trust KeyStore JKS file - this is the CA Certificate Chain file downloaded as JKS. If the ManagementCA issued the TLS certificate, then that is the CA you need to download the JKS file from

  • Select the credential created in the steps above for Trust KeyStore Credential

  • For EJBCA username, enter the username from step 1 above. I.e. the username of the end-entity

  • Browse to the User KeyStore and then select the credential containing the keystore password for User KeyStore Credential

  • For EJBCA Issuing CA Name - this is the CA configured in EJBCA that you wish to issue certificates from

  • Then enter the End Entity and Certificate Profile names that you would have identified or created in steps 3 and 4 above

  • If you wish to restrict the DNs from certdog (this can also be done from EJBCA), select the DN Restriction here

  • Finally, select the Team(s) whose members will have access to this issuer

  • Click Add

If all is correct you will get a success confirmation. If any of the details or are incorrect you may get errors such as:


This is most likely due to the User Key Store password being incorrect. Reset the password in the credential and try again


The most likely cause is that the certificate included in the User KeyStore does not have RA Administrative permissions. Go back to EJBCA and check the Administrator Roles


The Web Service URL is most likely protected with a TLS certificate that is not trusted. Identify the CA that issued the TLS certificate and download its certificate chain as a JKS - then upload as outlined above