Self-Signed Certificates

Since commit 4225bf (security advisory GHSA-44cw-p2hm-gpf6) Opencast services check the validity of the certificates presented by third parties and when connecting to each other remotely.

The validity check by Opencast's HTTPS client is basically performed the same way as any other HTTPS client would, for instance:

In case of self-signed certificates, a check whether the certificate is signed by a trusted CA, would fail.

You are advised to obtain a valid certificate, issued by a trusted CA like Let's Encrypt.

However, valid certificates are not always an option for testing or developer instances of Opencast, especially with Enterprise Firewalls or CAA records in place.

Generating Self-Signed Certificates

A self-signed certificate for multiple host names can be created with openSSL as follows:


distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
x509_extensions = v3_req
prompt = no
C = CH
ST = Wallis
L = Matterhorn
O = Apereo
OU = Opencast
CN = opencast
keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
extendedKeyUsage = serverAuth
subjectAltName = @alt_names
DNS.1 = opencast
DNS.2 = presentation.local
DNS.3 = admin.local
DNS.4 = admin
DNS.5 = presentation
DNS.6 = worker
DNS.7 = worker.local
openssl req \
  -x509 \
  -nodes \
  -days 365 \
  -newkey rsa:2048 \
  -keyout key.pem \
  -out testing.pem \
  -config testing-cert.req.conf \
  -extensions 'v3_req'

In order to view the just generated cert:

openssl x509 -in testing.pem -text -noout

Trusting Self-Signed Certificates

In order to use self-signed certificates for testing or developer instances of Opencast, import your self-signed certificate(s) into the Java Trust Store (bundle of trusted CA certs) and restart Opencast.

  1. Store your certificate in a format compatible with keytool somewhere:

    cat >/tmp/testing.crt <<EOL
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
  2. Import the certificate with alias testing_root into the whose password defaults to changeit without asking questions:

    keytool \
       -import \
       -noprompt \
       -trustcacerts \
       -storepass changeit \
       -alias testing_root \
       -file /tmp/testing.crt \
       -keystore $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/security/cacerts
  3. Delete the temporary file:

    rm /tmp/testing.crt
  4. Restart Opencast.