Certificates for HTTPS

X.509 certificates are used to authorize and secure communications with the server. They are mainly used for HTTPS, but can also be used for SIPS, CTIS, WSS, etc.

There are two categories of certificates in Wazo:

  • the default certificate, used for HTTPS in the web interface, REST APIs and WebSockets
  • the certificates created and managed via the web interface

This article is about the former. For the latter, see Telephony certificates.

Default certificate

Wazo uses HTTPS where possible. The certificates are generated at install time (or during the upgrade to 15.12+). The main certificate is placed in /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.crt.

However, this certificate is self-signed, and HTTP clients (browser or REST API client) will complain about this default certificate because it is not signed by a trusted Certification Authority (CA).

The default certificate is untrusted

To make the HTTP client accept this certificate, you have two choices:

  • configure your HTTP client to trust the self-signed Wazo certificate by adding a new trusted CA. The CA certificate (or bundle) is the file /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.crt.
  • replace the self-signed certificate with your own trusted certificate.

Use your own certificate

For this, follow these steps:

  1. Replace the following files with your own private key/certificate pair:

    • Private key: /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.key
    • Certificate chain: /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.crt

    The certificate chain file server.crt must contain all necessary certificates to verify that it is trusted. In particular, if you got your certificate from a provider, server.crt must contain the intermediary certificates, allowing the client to follow the trust chain from the CA down to your certificate. There are three possible situations:

    • The certificate provider gave you only the certificate file. In this case, you don’t have much choice and the certificate file will serve as server.crt

    • The certificate provider gave you a complete chain file (also called bundle) and you must use this complete chain file as server.crt.

    • The certificate provider gave you (among others) two different files: a certificate file and an “intermediate” file containing all intermediate certificates. You must get those two files into one with the following command:

      cat certificate.crt intermediate.pem > full-certificate-chain.pem

      Then full-certificate-chain.pem must be used for server.crt.

    Both server.crt and server.key must be readable by the group www-data. You can check with the following command:

    sudo -u www-data cat /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.{key,crt}
  2. Change the hostname of Wazo for each Wazo component: the different processes of Wazo heavily use HTTPS for internal communication, and for these connection to establish successfully, all hostnames used must match the Common Name (CN) of your certificate. Basically, you must replace all occurrences of localhost (the default hostname) with your CN in the configuration of the Wazo services. For example:

    mkdir /etc/xivo/custom
    cat > /etc/xivo/custom/custom-certificate.yml << EOF
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
      host: wazo.example.com
    for config_dir in /etc/{xivo,wazo}-*/conf.d/ ; do
        ln -s "/etc/xivo/custom/custom-certificate.yml" "$config_dir/010-custom-certificate.yml"

    Also, you must replace localhost in the definition of your directories in the web interface under Configuration ‣ Directories.

  3. If your certificate is not self-signed, and you obtained it from a third-party CA that is trusted by your system, you must enable the system-based certificate verification. By default, certificate verification is set to consider /usr/share/xivo-certs/server.crt as the only CA certificate.

    The options are the following:

    • Consul: verify: True
    • Other Wazo services: verify_certificate: True

    The procedure is the same as 2. with more configuration for each service. For example:

    cat > /etc/xivo/custom/custom-certificate.yml << EOF
      host: wazo.example.com
      verify: True
      host: wazo.example.com
      verify_certificate: True
      host: wazo.example.com
      verify_certificate: True

    Setting verify_certificate to False will disable the certificate verification, but the connection will still be encrypted. This is pretty safe as long as Wazo services stay on the same machine, however, this is dangerous when Wazo services are separated by an untrusted network, such as the Internet.

  4. You need an entry in /etc/hosts resolving your CN to For this, do not edit the file manually, because your modifications will be rewritten when you “Apply system configuration” from the web interface. Instead, create a custom template for /etc/hosts, and this template will be used when generating /etc/hosts:

    mkdir -p /etc/xivo/custom-templates/system/etc
    sed 's/127\.0\.1\.1/' /usr/share/xivo-config/templates/system/etc/hosts > /etc/xivo/custom-templates/system/etc/hosts

    You can check the configuration with the following command, it should give you

    getent ahosts wazo.example.com
  5. Restart all Wazo services:

    wazo-service restart all


Here are a few commands that can help find what is wrong:

# Tell me curl, what is the problem with my certificate?
curl https://localhost:443

# Tell me openssl, what is the problem with my certificate?
openssl s_client -connect localhost:443 >/dev/null </dev/null

# Check that nginx has the right certificate loaded
grep -R ssl /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

# See the certificate returned by nginx
openssl s_client -connect localhost:443 </dev/null

# See the certificate chain returned by nginx
openssl s_client -connect localhost:443 </dev/null 2>/dev/null | sed -ne '/Certificate chain/,/---/p'

Note that you can replace 443 with the ports of the Wazo daemons, e.g. 9497 for xivo-auth. See the full list in Network.