Ask Dr. Intranet

FRAMINGHAM (05/01/2000) - I'm having some trouble getting a VeriSign Inc. digital certificate installed in our iPlanet 4.0SP2 Web server running on a Hewlett-Packard-UX 11.00 system. When I tried to install the certificate using the Web-based manager, I got a JavaScript application error: "Unexpected failure: cannot write. There was an error while writing certificate file." I checked the file and directory permissions in the https- and https-/ config directories. I also checked the permission settings on the trust databases in /opt/netscape/server4/alias, as well as for that directory. The problem seems to be something else. I can install the certificate against the administration server (https-admserv). I need to install it for the correct individual server instance.

The trouble is probably more of an administrative issue than a technical one.

The problem is in generating the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) from the main Enterprise Administrative Server rather than from the individual server instance the certificate was for. This differs from the documentation found by searching for CSR at www.iPlanet.com and following the link to "Issuing and Managing End-Entity Certificates." Instructions for installing CSRs under Version 4.X servers can be found at http://developer. netscape.com/docs/manuals/ console/41/admin/5_secure. htm.

Blass is a network architect at Sprint Paranet in Houston. He can be reached at dr.intranet@paranet.com.

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