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Month: July 2013

Apache: Multiple SSL websites on a single IP address

Apache: Multiple SSL websites on a single IP address

Update: This is a new update from a cPanel Tech
“There is nothing to enable. As long as you are using cPanel & WHM version 11.38 on CentOS, RHEL, or CloudLinux version 6 or newer, SNI works out of the box”.

One of the frustrating limitations in supporting secure websites has been the inability to share IP addresses among SSL websites.
When website administrators and IT personnel are restricted to use a single SSL Certificate per socket (combination of IP Address and socket) it can cost a lot of money. Well we can actually share IP addresses for multiple secure websites. Solving this limitation required an extension to the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol that includes the addition of what hostname a client is connecting to when a handshake is initiated with a web server. The name of the extension is Server Name Indication (SNI). SNI is supported in Apache v2.2.12 , and OpenSSL v0.9.8j or later.

With SNI, you can have many virtual hosts sharing the same IP address and port, and each one can have its own unique certificate

Prerequisites to use SNI

Use OpenSSL 0.9.8f or later
Build OpenSSL with the TLS Extensions option enabled (option enable-tlsext; OpenSSL 0.9.8k and later has this enabled by default).
Apache must have been built with that OpenSSL (./configure –with-ssl=/path/to/your/openssl). In that case, mod_ssl will automatically detect the availability of the TLS extensions and support SNI.
Apache must use that OpenSSL at run-time, which might require setting LD_LIBRARY_PATH or equivalent to point to that OpenSSL, maybe in bin/envvars. (You’ll get unresolved symbol errors at Apache startup if Apache was built with SNI but isn’t finding the right openssl libraries at run-time.)

Setting up SNI with Apache

The configuration is pretty simple and straight forward, though I recommend making a backup of your existing httpd.conf file before proceeding.

# Ensure that Apache listens on port 443
Listen 443

# Listen for virtual host requests on all IP addresses
NameVirtualHost *:443

# Go ahead and accept connections for these vhosts
# from non-SNI clients
SSLStrictSNIVHostCheck off

# Because this virtual host is defined first, it will
# be used as the default if the hostname is not received
# in the SSL handshake, e.g. if the browser doesn't support
# SNI.
DocumentRoot /www/example2
ServerName www.linuxwebhostingsupport.in

# Other directives here
SSLEngine On
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/linuxwebhostingsupport.in.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/linuxwebhostingsupport.in.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/CA.crt

DocumentRoot /www/example2
ServerName www.abdulwahabmp.co.in

# Other directives here
SSLEngine On
SSLCertificateFile /path/to/abdulwahabmp.co.in.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /path/to/abdulwahabmp.co.in.key
SSLCertificateChainFile /path/to/CA.crt


That it!!!. Just restart APache service. Now go and check your Websites using https. That should be working.

Plesk support SNI from 10.2.x version onwards.

SNI will work on following Operating systems out of box

OpenSuSE Linux 11.3 or later.
Ubuntu Linux 10.4 or later.
Debian Linux 6.0 or later.
RedHat Linux 6.0 or later.
CentOS Linux 60.0 or later

Supported Desktop Browsers
Internet Explorer 7 and later
Firefox 2 and later
Opera 8 with TLS 1.1 enabled
Google Chrome:
Supported on Windows XP on Chrome 6 and later
Supported on Vista and later by default
OS X 10.5.7 in Chrome Version 5.0.342.0 and later
Chromium 11.0.696.28 and later
Safari 2.1 and later (requires OS X 10.5.6 and later or Windows Vista and later).
Note: No versions of Internet Explorer on Windows XP support SNI


Installing and managing firewall using ConfigServer Firewall (CSF)

ConfigServer firewall is a popular Linux firewall security suite. It is easy to install, flexible to configure and secure with extra checks.
CSF is generally considered a more advanced firewall as there are more configuration options compared to other firewalls, while still being simple enough to install and configure that even novice administrators can use it. Some of the MANY functions of CSF are given below:-

  • Daemon process that checks for login authentication failures for:
  1. Courier imap, Dovecot, uw-imap, Kerio
  2.  openSSH
  3.  cPanel, WHM, Webmail (cPanel servers only)
  4. Pure-ftpd, vsftpd, Proftpd
  5. Password protected web pages (htpasswd)
  6. Mod_security failures (v1 and v2)
  7. Suhosin failures
  8. Exim SMTP AUTH
  9. Custom login failures with separate log file and regular expression matching


  • SSH login notification
  • SU login notification
  • SYN Flood protection
  • Ping of death protection
  • Port Scan tracking and blocking
  • IPv6 Support with ip6tables
  • …lots more!

Removing Your Current Firewall
To prevent any conflicts in operation we will need to remove your current firewall. The most common software firewalls on our dedicated servers are APF and CSF, so we have provided instructions on how to remove APF below. If you are using a different software firewall be sure to follow that programs uninstall directions before continuing. After completing the uninstall continue with the CSF installation below.
Using Yum to Remove APF
If it was installed via yum, which is most likely, you will first need to identify the name of your APF package:
rpm -qa |grep -i apf
In this case:
[root@host ~]# rpm -qa | grep apf
In order to remove that package, and get your server ready for CSF installation, run the following command:
[root@host ~]# rpm -e apf-9.6_5-1
If you see this:
[root@host ~ ]# rpm -e apf-9.6_5-1
error: Failed dependencies:
apf >= 9.6_5-1 is needed by (installed) bfd-1.2-1.noarch
It means you have BFD installed, and it will need to be removed before you can proceed to removing APF:
[root@host ~ ]# rpm -e bfd-1.2-1.noarch
Then attempt to remove apf again:
[root@host ~ ]# rpm -e apf-9.6_5-1
Any further dependency errors can be handled in the same way as long as you are aware of what you are removing. If you have any questions or get stuck at any point feel free to contact me here.
Removing Source Installed APF
This can be a bit trickier, and if you are not sure what you’re doing you may want to contact me . If you are confident and wish to proceed you will find a list of commands below that you can use to remove APF if it is installed in the most common CentOS directories.
Stopping APF and iptables clears all of the rules from your firewall and ensures that removing the APF installation won’t cause access problems:
[root@host ~ ]# /etc/init.d/iptables stop

[root@host ~ ]# /etc/init.d/apf stop
Remove all of the APF related files:
[root@host ~ ]# rm -Rfv /etc/apf
[root@host ~ ]# rm -fv /etc/cron.daily/fw
[root@host ~ ]# rm -fv /etc/init.d/apf
Remove APF from the list of programs that start at boot:
[root@host ~ ]# chkconfig apf off


Installing CSF

So, login to your server via ssh and let’s start CSF installation by retrieving the package files using wget command:

# wget http://configserver.com/free/csf.tgz

Unpack the archive:

# tar xfvz csf.tgz
Navigate to the uncomperssed csf directory:

# cd csf


Check CSF will work on your server
CSF provides a test script. We can check whether CSF works with your Server or not prior to installing it.

#perl csftest.pl 

Testing ip_tables/iptable_filter…OK
Testing ipt_LOG…OK
Testing ipt_multiport/xt_multiport…OK
Testing ipt_REJECT…OK
Testing ipt_state/xt_state…OK
Testing ipt_limit/xt_limit…OK
Testing ipt_recent…OK
Testing xt_connlimit…OK
Testing ipt_owner/xt_owner…OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_REDIRECT…OK
Testing iptable_nat/ipt_DNAT…OK

RESULT: csf should function on this server

If you get this output, you can proceed to installation. Otherwise you need to enable each missing modules and then install csf.

Run the installer:
Now there founr installation scripts
install.cpanel.sh For cPanel

csf installation for cPanel and DirectAdmin is preconfigured to work on those servers with all the standard ports open.. So install as per your requirement.

#sh install.sh

csf auto-configures your SSH port on installation where it’s running on a non-standard port. CSF also auto-whitelists your connected IP address where possible on installation.

By default CSF is in Test mode. So you need to disable the test mode once you configured the firewall correctly. Then only the lfd daemon starts.

“/etc/csf/csf.conf” is the main CSF configuration file.
TCP_IN/TCP_OUT/UDP_IN/UDP_OUT = : These are the ports you want to leave open for your server to operate. If you change the default SSH port make sure to add it here. Also add any other services you might have running such as Shoutcast or game servers. All the ports not mentioed here will be blocked.

LF_DSHIELD = 0: Change this option to 86400. This is an automatic updated list of known attacking IPs. Enabling this will stop them from being able to connect to your server.

Spam Protection Alerts
If you want to add some spam protection, CSF can help. Look in the configuration for the following:

LF_SCRIPT_ALERT = 0 change this to 1. This will send an email alert to the system administrator when the limit configured below is reached within an hour.

LF_SCRIPT_LIMIT = 100 change this to 250. This will alert you when any scripts sends out 250 email messages in an hour.
Providing all the configuration options for CSF here is beyond the scope of the article. Please refer to this README from csf for more details


If you have installed CSF on cPanel/WHM, it also installs WHM plugin to manage CSF. You can access it from

WHM >> Home >> Plugins >> CnfigServer Firewall
Now TEST all your services to make sure everything is working – SSH, FTP, http. After you do a few quick tests go back into the Firewall Configuration page.

TESTING = 1 change this to 0 and click Change at the bottom. Then Restart csf+lfd using below commands

#csf -r
#/etc/init.d/csf restart

That’s it, the firewall is successfully installed and running!!
Common commands:-

To block an IP Permenently
#csf -d IP

To allow or whitelist IP permenently.
#csf -a IP

To temporary block IP
#csf -td IP

To temporary allow an IP
#csf -ta IP

To check an IP is blocked in firewall
#iptables -nL | grep IP
# csf -g IP

To find Reason for block.

#grep IP /var/log/lfd.log

To remove a permanent block
#csf -dr IP

To remove IP from allow list
#csf -ar IP

To disable csf
#csf -x

To enable CSF
#csf -e

To restart
#csf -r
CSF is an increasingly popular alternative to the stock firewalls on some servers. Should you require any other help , please contact me.


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