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How to Become a Certificate Authority Using Lion Server

You may want to set up your Lion Server to act as a certificate authority, with the ability to sign certificates created elsewhere in the organization. Use the Keychain Access to create a certificate authority and to sign certificates.

To create a certificate authority, do the following:

  1. Launch Keychain Access (in /Applications/Utilities).

  2. In the Keychain Access menu, choose Certificate Assistant→Create a Certificate Authority.

    The Certificate Assistant launches.

  3. Choose to create a Self Signed Root CA and then click through the screens, providing information as needed.

    The process is much shorter if you choose not to override the defaults.

You can also use the Keychain Access to create a signed certificate for someone who’s sent you a certificate signing request file. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Keychain Access.

  2. In the Keychain Access menu, choose Certificate Assistant→Create a Certificate for Someone Else as a Certificate Authority.

    The Certificate Assistant launches.

  3. When asked, drag the CSR file you received from the Finder into Certificate Assistant.

  4. Click through the screens, following the directions.

At the end of the process, the Mail application launches and creates a new e-mail message with the new signed certificate file attached.

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