Setting up Certificates

A how-to for creating and importing certificates in TrueNAS.

  3 minute read


By default TrueNAS comes equipped with an internal, self-signed certificate. This enables encrypted access to the web interface. If desired, a new certificate can be created or an existing certificate can be imported. To add or import a certificate, go to System > Certificates and click ADD. First, enter the name for the certificate. Next, choose the Type. The four options are Internal Certificate, Certificate Signing Request (CSR), Import Certificate, and Import Certificate Signing Request. The process for each type is slightly different. Follow the appropriate section below based on your desired type.

Internal Certificate

Select the Internal Certificate type when creating a new internal certificate. Before setting any options, ensure a Certificate Authority (CA) has been created. A CA is used to sign the new certificate.

If desired, a profile can be selected for the certificate. Selecting a profile automatically sets certain options such as Key Type, Key Length, Digest Algorithm, and more. If you would like to set each option manually, do not select a profile from the Profiles dropdown. Select a CA from the Signing Certificate Authority dropdown. Select a Key Type from the dropdown. The recommended key type is RSA. Next, select the Key Length. A minimum of 2048 is recommended for security reasons. Select a Digest Algorithm. The recommended is SHA256. Enter the Lifetime of the certificate in days. This is how long the certificate will remain valid.

Next, fill out the geographic information of the certificate. This includes Country, Locality, Organizational Unit (optional), Common Name, State, Organization, Email, and Subject Alternate Names (optional). The Common Name is the fully-qualified hostname (FQDN) and must be unique within a certificate chain.

If Basic Constraints are desired, set Enabled and more options will appear. Set a Path Length. This is how many non-self-issued intermediate certificates that can follow this certificate in a valid certification path. Entering 0 allows a single additional certificate to follow in the certificate path. Cannot be less than 0. Next, select the Basic Constraints Config. More than one can be selected from the dropdown.

If an Authority Key Identifier is desired, set Enabled. Next, select the Authority Key Config. More than one can be selected from the dropdown.

If Extended Key Usage is desired, set Enabled. Next, select the usage for this public key from the Usages dropdown. This is typically used for end entity certificates. Multiple usages can be selected. Do not set this Critical Extension when the Usages contains ANY_EXTENDED_KEY_USAGE. Using both Extended Key Usage and Key Usage extensions requires that the purpose of the certificate is consistent with both extensions. See RFC 3280, section for more details.

Certificate Signing Request

To create a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), select the Certificate Signing Request as the Type. All the settings are the same as Internal Certificate except a CA is not needed during creation of the CSR.

Import Certificate

To import an existing certificate, select Import Certificate as the Type. If a certificate signing request exists on the system, set CSR exists on this system and select it from the dropdown. Otherwise, paste the certificate in the Certificate field. Paste the certificate private key in the Private Key field. If the private key is protected by a passphrase, enter the Passphrase.

Import Certificate Signing Request

To import an existing certificate signing request, select Import Certificate Signing Request as the Type. Paste the contents of the CSR in the Signing Request field. Paste the CSR private key in the Private Key field. If the private key is protected by a passphrase, enter the Passphrase.

Last modified August 14, 2020: Update (b4e53b45)