How to install free SSL certificate on Nginx with StartSSL

First, we need issue SSL certificate. is a great way to install free signed SSL certifacate.

So, let’s signed up on with browser authenticate.

Then, go to control panel ( and click on Validations Wizard tab.

Select Domain Validation option.


Next, enter your domain name:


You will be asked to verify your domain via email.


IF you can’t receive the verification code from the following email, you can try the website control validation.


Then click ‘To order SSL certificate’.


You should see Certificate Wizard page.


Enter your full domain name, e.g.

Now we need to generate Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file on our server.

Open your server terminal by ssh.

If you haven’t /etc/nginx/ssl directory, create it:

Generate the CSR file:

You will be asked a few questions about your server in order to embed the information correctly in the certificate.

Next, you will be promt to enter the ‘extra’ attributes.

If you enter challenge password then you will be asked about this password every time during nginx restart.

We skip this steps in our case.

Copy crt file data:

Return to Certificate Wizard page and paste this data to “Generated by Myself” option text area.

Click “Submit” button.

If everything was done correctly you will see successfully issued certificate page.


Click to “certificate list” and retrieve you brand new certificate.


Download your certificates files archive.

Install certificate on nginx.

Extract your downloaded certificate files archive.

Upload new csr certificate to /etc/nginc/ssl with the following command:

Add to your host nginx config the following lines:

Restart nginx:



Now you have successfully installed free signed SSL certificate on your website that you can you use to safely transmit data.