How to reset the list of trusted CA certificates in RHEL 6 & RHEL 7

Solution Verified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Issue

  • How can I reset the system-wide list of trusted CA certs on a RHEL 6 or RHEL 7 system?

Resolution

It's simple for a process with root access to add new Certificate Authority (CA) certs to the system-wide database of trusted CAs. Many applications--both 3rd-party and shipped in RHEL--read CA certs from this database. (To name a few: lftp, curl, wget, openssl, firefox.)

Follow these steps to ensure the database contains only the default CAs.

  1. Create a backup directory to store any found certs for later inspection

    ~]# mkdir -p /root/cert.bak
    mkdir: created directory ‘/root/cert.bak’
    
  2. Reset and update the ca-certificates package
    This will revert away any direct customizations (e.g., to ca-bundle.crt) and update or reinstall the package

    ~]# rpm -Vv ca-certificates | awk '$1!="........." && $2!="d" {system("mv -v " $NF " /root/cert.bak")}'
    `/etc/pki/java/cacerts' -> `/root/cert.bak/cacerts'
    `/etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.crt' -> `/root/cert.bak/ca-bundle.crt'
    `/etc/pki/tls/certs/ca-bundle.trust.crt' -> `/root/cert.bak/ca-bundle.trust.crt'
    ~]# yum check-update ca-certificates; (($?==100)) && yum update ca-certificates || yum reinstall ca-certificates
    
  3. Ensure the /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/ and /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/ directories together contain only the following 2 files
    Move any other files to the backup directory

    ~]# find /etc/pki/ca-trust/source{,/anchors} -maxdepth 1 -not -type d -exec ls -1 {} +
    /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/ca-bundle.legacy.crt
    /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/README
    
  4. Ensure the /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/ and /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/ directories together contain no more than the following 4 files (though RHEL 7.4+ will contain only 2 of them)
    Move any other files to the backup directory

    ~]# find /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source{,/anchors} -maxdepth 1 -not -type d -exec ls -1 {} +
    /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/ca-bundle.neutral-trust.crt
    /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/ca-bundle.supplement.p11-kit
    /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/ca-bundle.trust.crt
    /usr/share/pki/ca-trust-source/README
    
  5. Rebuild the CA-trust database with update-ca-trust

    • Execute:   update-ca-trust extract

    • RHEL 6: the following warning will very likely be seen

      update-ca-trust: Warning: The dynamic CA configuration feature is in the disabled state

      This is normal (default), expected, and not a problem
      Optionally read more about this in the update-ca-trust man page

  6. Note that some applications (like Firefox), keep their own local cert database

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