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25.8. Apache HTTP Secure Server Configuration

This section provides basic information on the Apache HTTP Server with the mod_ssl security module enabled to use the OpenSSL library and toolkit. The combination of these three components are referred to in this section as the secure Web server or just as the secure server.
The mod_ssl module is a security module for the Apache HTTP Server. The mod_ssl module uses the tools provided by the OpenSSL Project to add a very important feature to the Apache HTTP Server — the ability to encrypt communications. In contrast, regular HTTP communications between a browser and a Web server are sent in plain text, which could be intercepted and read by someone along the route between the browser and the server.
This section is not meant to be complete and exclusive documentation for any of these programs. When possible, this guide points to appropriate places where you can find more in-depth documentation on particular subjects.
This section shows you how to install these programs. You can also learn the steps necessary to generate a private key and a certificate request, how to generate your own self-signed certificate, and how to install a certificate to use with your secure server.
The mod_ssl configuration file is located at /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf. For this file to be loaded, and hence for mod_ssl to work, you must have the statement Include conf.d/*.conf in the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file. This statement is included by default in the default Apache HTTP Server configuration file.

25.8.1. An Overview of Security-Related Packages

To enable the secure server, you must have the following packages installed at a minimum:
httpd
The httpd package contains the httpd daemon and related utilities, configuration files, icons, Apache HTTP Server modules, man pages, and other files used by the Apache HTTP Server.
mod_ssl
The mod_ssl package includes the mod_ssl module, which provides strong cryptography for the Apache HTTP Server via the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols.
openssl
The openssl package contains the OpenSSL toolkit. The OpenSSL toolkit implements the SSL and TLS protocols, and also includes a general purpose cryptography library.
Additionally, other software packages provide certain security functionalities (but are not required by the secure server to function):