(TODO: do these test servers still work? is wave-protocol still the right place for this?

The instructions below are for self-signed certificates, which the current test server,, will accept, which allows for easy testing of the federation protocol. The test server has been transitioned to only accept CA-issued certificates. CA-issued certificates are better as they involve a trusted third-party, and it is expected that in production a Wave server would only accept CA-issued certificates. Changes to the test servers that affect which kind of certificate they accept will be announced on the wave-protocol mailing list.

If you want to go through the steps to generate a CA-issued certificate the instructions are at the end of this page. A server that is set up to accept self-signed certificates will also accept CA-issued certificates, so you will still be able to interop with both test servers with a CA-issued certificate.

Note that real certs will contain a critical extension that only Wave servers should accept, to prevent them being re-used as SSL server certificates.

Self-Signed Certificates

There is a script called for generating certificates in the root directory of the repository. When you run it, you'll see roughly this:

$ ./ test
1) Generating key for test in 'test.key' ...

Generating RSA private key, 2048 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)

2) Generating certificate request for test in 'test.crt' ...

You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
Locality Name (eg, city) []:
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:
Email Address []:

You can answer whatever you want to all questions except the Common Name question. There you should answer the DNS name of your server.

The result of this would be two files, test.crt and test.key. The certificate you can give to anyone, especially those who want to check its a known good cert. The key is your private key and should not be revealed.

The FedOne code does not support password protected private keys. This is not a concern if you used the script supplied above as the generated private key will not be password protected.

(TODO: still fedone?)

View the certificate

$ openssl x509 -text -in test.crt
        Version: 3 (0x2)
        Serial Number:
        Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption
        Issuer: C=AU, ST=Some-State, O=Internet Widgits Pty Ltd,
            Not Before: Jul 17 20:59:30 2009 GMT
            Not After : Jul 17 20:59:30 2010 GMT
        Subject: C=AU, ST=Some-State, O=Internet Widgits Pty Ltd,
        Subject Public Key Info:
            Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption
            RSA Public Key: (2048 bit)
                Modulus (2048 bit):
                Exponent: 65537 (0x10001)
        X509v3 extensions:
            X509v3 Subject Key Identifier:
            X509v3 Authority Key Identifier:
                DirName:/C=AU/ST=Some-State/O=Internet Widgits Pty Ltd/

            X509v3 Basic Constraints:
    Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption

Check certificate and key match

$ openssl x509 -modulus -in test.crt -noout
$ openssl rsa -in test.key -modulus -noout

The two outputs should match.

Now you are done and can add the key and cert to you Wave server and interop with other Wave servers that accept self-signed certificates. If you want to generate a CA-issued Certificate follow the directions in the next section.

Getting a CA-issued Certificate

You will need access to the email account,, or

First generate an encrypted private key:

$ openssl genrsa -des3 -out 2048

You will be asked for passphrase, make sure it is at least 10 characters.

Then generate a certificate request:

$ openssl req -new -key -out

You will be asked for passphrase from above. After that you will be asked to fill in a bunch of details.

The Common Name should be in the form

You can use this certificate request with your Certificate Authority of choice. Below are instructions on getting a free Class 1 CA-issued certificate from StartSSL. Using StartSSL is not required, but is documented here because it is one of the CAs that provide free CA certs.

StartSSL instructions

  1. Go to
  2. Sign in, or sign up. To sign up you will need to provide email that you can validate, then log out and log in again - click in Authenticate - you will be asked for (email) certificate that was generated in the sign up process.
  3. Go to Control Panel.
  4. Click on the Validations Wizard.
  5. Choose Domain Name Validation where you have to validate you domain, i.e. example com.
  6. Go to Certificates Wizard.
  7. Choose XMPP certificate.
  8. In the private key generation step click on "skip".
  9. In the next step paste the certificate request that was generated earlier (the contents of the
  10. Choose your domain, i.e. In the subdomain you need to enter "wave", i.e.
  11. Click on Continue until Finish.
  12. After that you will have your signed certificate. Save it as
  13. Go to ToolBox, choose StartCom CA Certificates. Download your intermediate certificate and the Certification Authority certificate ca.pem.

So by now you should have 5 files:

  • ca.pem

Make sure to backup the private key and signed certificate ( and put it somewhere in a safe place.

Now let's remove the passphrase from the private key with:

$ openssl rsa -in -out

then convert the key to a different format with:

$ openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -nocrypt -in -out

Now we have the private key we can use with waveinabox server and a certificate signed by StartCom.
You can test your certificate using the openssl command line tool. If you get a CA-issued cert for the domain then you can test the cert with:

$ openssl verify -CAfile OK

(TODO: Make this refer to server.federation.config instead)

To enable the certs you will need to make some changes to Enable certs, and add the intermediate cert to the list of certificates:

# Set true to disable the verification of signed deltas

# Set true to disable the verification of signers (certificates)


Note: Some people have found that they need to include both the sub.class1.server.pem and the ca-bundle cert in the chain as follows:


The order of the certificates listed in the CERTIFICATE_FILENAME_LIST is important, with your certificate going first, and intermediate certs following.

Check Certificates

(TODO: change FedOne to WIAB?)

The script included in the FedOne? source will do all of the above checks for you. Make sure is configured first then run If the certificates are valid and configured correctly you will see:

SUCCESS: The certificates have been verified and are working correctly

Otherwise and error message will be printed pointing to the cause of the error.

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