Key and certificate handling

For SSL operation, the server always needs a key pair. If the server runs in peer authentication mode (the server authenticates the clients), then each client needs its own key pair. In general, if one end of the communication wants to authenticate its partner, then the first end needs to install a certificate generated by the partner.

The key pair is located in a file which is called a key store and the JDK's SSL provider needs the system properties and to access the key store.

The certificates of trusted parties are installed in a file called a trust store. The JDK's SSL provider needs the system properties and to access the trust store.

Key pair generation

Key pairs are generated with keytool -genkey. The simplest way to generate a key pair is to do
keytool -genkey <alias> -keystore <keystore>
ketool will prompt for needed information like identity details and passwords.

Consult the JDK documentation for more information on keytool.

Certificate generation

Certificates are generated with keytool -export like this:
keytool -export -alias <alias> -keystore <keystore> \
        -rfc -file <certificate file>
The certificate file may then be distributed to the relevant parties.

Certificate installation

Installation of a certificate in a trust store is done with keytool -import like this:
keytool -import -alias <alias> -file <certificate file> \
        -keystore <trust store>


Generate the server key pair:
keytool -genkey -alias myDerbyServer -keystore serverKeyStore.key
Generate a server certificate:
keytool -export -alias myDerbyServer -keystore serverKeyStore.key \
        -rfc -file myServer.cert
Generate a client key pair:
keytool -genkey -alias aDerbyClient -keystore clientKeyStore.key
Generate a client certficate:
keytool -export -alias aDerbyClient -keystore clientKeyStore.key \
        -rfc -file aClient.cert
Install a client certificate in the server's trust store:
keytool -import -alias aDerbyClient -file aClient.cert 
        -keystore serverTrustStore.key
Install the server certificate in a client's trust store:
keytool -import -alias myDerbyServer -file myServer.cert 
        -keystore clientTrustStore.key
Related concepts
Starting the server with SSL/TLS
Running the client with SSL/TLS
Other server commands