It's no wonder people hate dealing with certificates. I'm one of those people who really hate handling certificates. For some reason Linux lacks simple tools to manage certificates. Debian has one set of tools and I bet quite a few other distributions have their own set of tools. So nothing generic.

In my opinion the problem lies in OpenSSL, which is an overly complicated piece of software. Sure it's able to encrypt your fries at the local fast food place, but most people never use anything more than the x509 module. And even that is complicated.

I'm not saying that it should be point and click operation, but what I want is a tool that allows me to create, renew and verify SSL certificates. Which is pretty much the most common thing you do with OpenSSL.

Now, lets assume you have a certificate and a key that you want to check if they match. Can you say from the top of your head how to do that? If so, you are either dealing with this stuff daily or you looked it up from a manual. The correct "magical mumbo jumbo" is:

server:/tmp# openssl rsa -noout -modulus -in /etc/ssl/private/some.key | openssl md5
server:/tmp# openssl x509 -noout -modulus -in signed.crt | openssl md5

Now, how easy was that. It only took me 10 minutes to construct that line. Most of the time went to searching Zimbra scripts for the correct magical line. The reason why I went through the scripts instead of the manual is that I had already seen the scripts do a appropriate check. And there is no way I could have constructed that in that kind of a time frame just by using the manual.

Usually I think that people complain too much when they can't figure out how to make ls or something work like they want. A certain degree of manual reading is good for you, but in this case it's too much. In any case, I'm posting this rant as a reminder for myself so that the next time I can just look it up from here.

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