Get error "[error] Illegal attempt to re-initialise SSL for server" in httpd error logs

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)


  • I see errors similar to below in my httpd error_log:
[error] Illegal attempt to re-initialise SSL for server (theoretically shouldn't happen!)
  • The server will not listen on port 443
  • I have confirmed that SElinux is disabled and that the firewall is not a factor.
  • Apache is not allowing traffic on port 443


You need to make sure you are setting SSLEngine On inside of a VirtualHost. You should not set the SSLEngine directive in a global scope [0].


Root Cause

The root cause of this issue occurs when you have SSLEngine On set in a global scope. When you set SSLEngine outside of a VirtualHost, it causes SSLEngine to be enabled by default on all VirtualHosts even if they aren't configured for SSL.

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