Extracting certificate and private key information from a Personal Information Exchange (.pfx) file with OpenSSL:  Open Windows File Explorer. Copy your.pfx file to a computer that has OpenSSL installed, notating the file path. Certificate.pfx files are usually password protected.

Important: This example is intended to provide general guidance to IT professionals who are experienced with SSL requirements and configuration. The procedure described in this article is just one of many available methods you can use to generate the required files. The process described here should be treated as an example and not as a recommendation.

When you configure Tableau Server to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, this helps ensure that access to the server is secure and that data sent between Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop is protected.

  1. Run the following OpenSSL command to generate your private key and public certificate. Answer the questions and enter the Common Name when prompted. Openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout key.pem -x509 -days 365 -out certificate.pem.
  2. While Encrypting a File with a Password from the Command Line using OpenSSL is very useful in its own right, the real power of the OpenSSL library is its ability to support the use of public key cryptograph for encrypting or validating data in an unattended manner (where the password is not required to encrypt) is done with public keys.

Looking for Tableau Server on Linux? See Example: SSL Certificate - Generate a Key and CSR.

Tableau Server uses Apache, which includes OpenSSL. You can use the OpenSSL toolkit to generate a key file and Certificate Signing Request (CSR) which can then be used to obtain a signed SSL certificate.

Openssl Generate Cer And Key

Steps to generate a key and CSR

To configure Tableau Server to use SSL, you must have an SSL certificate. To obtain the SSL certificate, complete the steps:

  1. Generate a key file.
  2. Create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).
  3. Send the CSR to a certificate authority (CA) to obtain an SSL certificate.
  4. Use the key and certificate to configure Tableau Server to use SSL.

You can find additional information on the SSL FAQ page on the Apache Software Foundation website.

Configure a certificate for multiple domain names

Tableau Server allows SSL for multiple domains. To set up this environment, you need to modify the OpenSSL configuration file, openssl.conf, and configure a Subject Alternative Name (SAN) certificate on Tableau Server. See For SAN certificates: modify the OpenSSL configuration file below.

Set the OpenSSL configuration environment variable (optional)

To avoid using the -config argument with every use of openssl.exe, you can use the OPENSSL_CONF environment variable to ensure that the correct configuration file is used and all configuration changes made in subsequent procedures in this article produce expected results (for example, you must set the environment variable to add a SAN to your certificate).

Open the Command Prompt as an administrator, and run the following command:

set OPENSSL_CONF=c:Program FilesTableauTableau Serverpackagesapache.<version_code>confopenssl.cnf


  • When setting the Open SSL configuration environment variable, do not enclose the file path with quotation marks.

  • If you are using a 32-bit version of Tableau Server on a 64-bit computer, run the set OPENSSL_CONF=c:Program Files (x86)TableauTableau Serverpackagesapache.<version_code>confopenssl.cnf command instead.

Generate a key

Generate a key file that you will use to generate a certificate signing request.

  1. Open the Command Prompt as an administrator, and navigate to the Apache directory for Tableau Server. For example, run the following command:

    cd C:Program FilesTableauTableau Serverpackagesapache.<version_code>bin

  2. Run the following command to create the key file:

    openssl.exe genrsa -out <yourcertname>.key 4096

    Note: This command uses a 4096-bit length for the key. You should choose a bit length that is at least 2048 bits because communication encrypted with a shorter bit length is less secure. If a value is not provided, 512 bits is used.

Create a certificate signing request to send to a certificate authority

Generate Key With Openssl

Use the key file you created in the procedure above to generate the certificate signing request (CSR). You send the CSR to a certificate authority (CA) to obtain a signed certificate.

Important: If you want to configure a SAN certificate to use SSL for multiple domains, first complete the steps in For SAN certificates: modify the OpenSSL configuration file below, and then return to here to generate a CSR.

  1. Run the following command to create a certificate signing request (CSR) file:

    openssl.exe req -new -key yourcertname.key -out yourcertname.csr

    If you did not set the OpenSSL configuration environment variable, OPENSSL_CONF, you might see either of the following messages:

    • An error message about the config information being unable to load. In this case, retype the command above with the following parameter: -config ..confopenssl.cnf.

    • A warning that the /usr/local/ssl directory cannot be found. This directory does not exist on Windows, and you can simply ignore this message. The file is created successfully.

    To set an OpenSSL configuration environment variable, see Set the OpenSSL configuration environment variable (optional) section in this article.

  2. When prompted, enter the required information.

    Note: For Common Name, type the Tableau Server name. The Tableau Server name is the URL that will be used to reach the Tableau Server. For example, if you reach Tableau Server by typing tableau.example.com in the address bar of your browser, then tableau.example.com is the common name. If the common name does not resolve to the server name, errors will occur when a browser or Tableau Desktop tries to connect to Tableau Server.

Send the CSR to a certificate authority to obtain an SSL certificate

Openssl Generate Cer And Key Code

Send the CSR to a commercial certificate authority (CA) to request the digital certificate. For information, see the Wikipedia article Certificate authority and any related articles that help you decide which CA to use.

Use the key and certificate to configure Tableau Server

Openssl Generate Cert And Key Pem

When you have both the key and the certificate from the CA, you can configure Tableau Server to use SSL. For the steps, see Configure External SSL.

For SAN certificates: modify the OpenSSL configuration file

In a standard installation of OpenSSL, some features are not enabled by default. To use SSL with multiple domain names, before you generate the CSR, complete these steps to modify the openssl.cnf file.

  1. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the Apache conf folder for Tableau Server.

    For example: C:Program FilesTableauTableau Server<version_code>apacheconf

  2. Open openssl.cnf in a text editor, and find the following line: req_extensions = v3_req

    This line might be commented out with a hash sign (#) at the beginning of the line.

    If the line is commented out, uncomment it by removing the # and space characters from the beginning of the line.

  3. Move to the [ v3_req ] section of the file. The first few lines contain the following text:

    # Extensions to add to a certificate request
    basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
    keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment

    After the keyUsage line, insert the following line:

    subjectAltName = @alt_names

    If you’re creating a self-signed SAN certificate, do the following to give the certificate permission to sign the certificate:

    1. Add the cRLSign and keyCertSign to the keyUsage line so it looks like the following: keyUsage = nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment, cRLSign, keyCertSign

    2. After the keyUsage line, add the following line: subjectAltName = @alt_names

  4. In the [alt_names] section, provide the domain names you want to use with SSL.

    DNS.1 = [domain1]
    DNS.2 = [domain2]
    DNS.3 = [etc]

    The following image shows the results highlighted, with placeholder text that you would replace with your domain names.

  5. Save and close the file.

  6. Complete the steps in Create a certificate signing request to send to a certificate authority section, above.

Additional information

If you prefer to use a different version of OpenSSL, you can download it from Open SSL for Windows.

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What is a Self-Signed TLS Certificate?

Self-signed TLS certificates are suitable for personal use or for applications that are used internally within an organization. If you intend to use your SSL certificate on a website, see our guide on enabling TLS for NGINX once you’ve completed the process outlined in this guide.

Create the Certificate

  1. Change to the root user and change to the directory in which you want to create the certificate and key pair. That location will vary depending on your needs. Here we’ll use /root/certs:

  2. Create the certificate:

    You will be prompted to add identifying information about your website or organization to the certificate. Since a self-signed certificate won’t be used publicly, this information isn’t necessary. If this certificate will be passed on to a certificate authority for signing, the information needs to be as accurate as possible.

    The following is a breakdown of the OpenSSL options used in this command. There are many other options available, but these will create a basic certificate which will be good for a year. For more information, see man openssl in your terminal.

    • -newkey rsa:4096: Create a 4096 bit RSA key for use with the certificate. RSA 2048 is the default on more recent versions of OpenSSL but to be sure of the key size, you should specify it during creation.

    • -x509: Create a self-signed certificate.

    • -sha256: Generate the certificate request using 265-bit SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm).

    • -days: Determines the length of time in days that the certificate is being issued for. For a self-signed certificate, this value can be increased as necessary.

    • -nodes: Create a certificate that does not require a passphrase. If this option is excluded, you will be required to enter the passphrase in the console each time the application using it is restarted.

    Here is an example of the output:

  3. Restrict the key’s permissions so that only root can access it:

  4. Back up your certificate and key to external storage. This is an important step. Do not skip it!

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