Creating an easy to deploy SSL certificate in PEM format

When ordering a secure certificate, most often one has to deal with the following files:

  • certificate key file (aka private key): .key
  • certificate request file: .csr
  • primary certificate file (issued by the CA): .crt
  • certificate chain (aka intermediate certificate, or sf bundle): sf_bundle.crt

As a result, when deploying to a web server, it is necessary to configure 3 files: the key, the cert, and the trust chain. However, a little known fact is that these can be combined in a “pem” file that holds all three. One may even include the trusted root certificate optionally. Here is how:

  • download your certificates (your_domain_name.crt) from your NewPush Customer Portal.
  • paste the entire body of each certificate one by one into one text file in the following order:
    • domain.key
    • domain.crt
    • sf_bundle.crt

    Make sure to include the beginning and end tags on each certificate. The result should look like this:

    -----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
    ...
    -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    ...
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    ...
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    ...
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----
    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
    ...
    -----END CERTIFICATE-----

The number of

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

sections will depend of the length of the certificate trust chain.

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