Why does sshd not start after upgrading openssh to RHEA-2010:0683?

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • OpenSSH update RHEA-2010:0683 (https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHEA-2010-0683.html)


  • A change in the behavior in the openssh package included in the RHEA-2010:0683 update (openssh-4.3p2-41.el5_5.1) prevents some systems from starting the sshd daemon when using a modified openssl.cnf file.


  • Use an explicit openssl.cnf file for home certificate authority (CA). The updated openssh package (sshd command) now reads the openssl.cnf configuration file via the openssl library (openssl-0.9.8e-12.el5_4.6) in order to load the hardware cryptographic modules that can be configured there.

Root Cause

A custom openssl.cnf file containing references to environment  variables (such as ENV_TYPE) not present in the sshd process  environment could result in error messages such as the following:

1578:error:0E065068:configuration file routines:STR_COPY:variable value:conf_def.c:629:line 176

This error was due to the following line in the openssl.cnf file:

nsCertType = $ENV::ENV_TYPE
  • Component
  • nss

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