Managing SSL Certificates

This topic is part of the setup and maintenance of a load balancer. For more information about managing load balancers, see Managing a Load Balancer.


Avoid entering confidential information when assigning descriptions, tags, or friendly names to your cloud resources through the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, API, or CLI.

Required IAM Policy

To use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you must be given the required type of access in a policy  written by an administrator, whether you're using the Console or the REST API with an SDK, CLI, or other tool. If you try to perform an action and get a message that you don’t have permission or are unauthorized, confirm with your administrator the type of access you've been granted and which compartment  you should work in.

For administrators: For a typical policy that gives access to load balancers and their components, see Let network admins manage load balancers.

Also, be aware that a policy statement with inspect load-balancers gives the specified group the ability to see all information about the load balancers. For more information, see Details for Load Balancing.

If you're new to policies, see Getting Started with Policies and Common Policies.

Working with SSL Certificates

To use SSL with your load balancer, you must add one or more certificate bundles to your system. The certificate bundle you upload includes the public certificate, the corresponding private key, and any associated Certificate Authority (CA) certificates. For the easiest workflow, upload the certificate bundles you want to use before you create the listeners or backend sets you want to associate them with.

Load balancers commonly use single domain certificates. However, load balancers with listeners that include request routing configuration might require a subject alternative name (SAN) certificate (also called multi-domain certificate) or a wildcard certificate. The Load Balancing service supports each of these certificate types.


  • The Load Balancing service does not generate SSL certificates. It can only import an existing certificate that you already own. The certificate can be one issued by a vendor, such as Verisign or GoDaddy. You can also use a self-signed certificate that you generate with an open source tool, such as OpenSSL or Let's Encrypt. Refer to the corresponding tool's documentation for instructions on how to generate a self-signed certificate.
  • If you submit a self-signed certificate for backend SSL, you must submit the same certificate in the corresponding CA Certificate field.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure accepts x.509 type certificates in PEM format only. The following is an example PEM encoded certificate:


Converting to PEM format

If you receive your certificates and keys in formats other than PEM, you must convert them before you can upload them to the system. You can use OpenSSL to convert certificates and keys to PEM format. The following example commands provide guidance.

Certificate or certificate chain from DER to PEM

openssl x509 -inform DER -in <certificate_name>.der -outform PEM -out <certificate_name>.pem

Private key from DER to PEM

openssl rsa -inform DER -in <private_key_name>.der -outform PEM -out <private_key_name>.pem

Certificate bundle from PKCS#12 (PFX) to PEM

openssl pkcs12 -in <certificate_bundle_name>.p12 -out <certificate_bundle_name>.pem -nodes

Certificate bundle from PKCS#7 to PEM

openssl pkcs7 -in <certificate_bundle_name>.p7b -print_certs -out <certificate_bundle_name>.pem

Uploading Certificate Chains

If you have multiple certificates that form a single certification chain (for example, any Intermediate CA certificates), include all relevant certificates in one file in the correct order before you upload them to the system. The correct order begins with the certificate directly signed by the Trusted Root CA at the bottom. Any additional certificates are pasted directly on top of the authority who signed it.

You need to combine the Server certificate (SSL_Certificate.crt) and the Intermediate CA certificate (intermediateCA.crt) files into a single concatenated file.

To get a single concatenated file out of the Intermediate CA and the SSL Certificate, open a command prompt and run the following command:

cat ssl_certificate.crt IntermediateCA.crt >> certbundle.pem

The following example of a concatenated certificate chain file includes four certificates:


Submitting Private Keys


Oracle recommends a minimum length of 2048 bits for your RSA private key.

If your private key submission returns an error, the three most common reasons are:

  • You provided an incorrect passphrase.
  • Your private key is malformed.
  • The system does not recognize the encryption method used for your key.

Private key consistency

If you receive an error related to the private key, you can use OpenSSL to check its consistency:

openssl rsa -check -in <private_key>.pem

This command verifies that the key is intact, the passphrase is correct, and the file contains a valid RSA private key.

Decrypting a private key

If the system does not recognize the encryption technology used for your private key, decrypt the key. Upload the unencrypted version of the key with your certificate bundle. You can use OpenSSL to decrypt a private key:

openssl rsa -in <private_key>.pem -out <decrypted_private_key>.pem

Updating an Expiring Certificate

To ensure consistent service, you must update (rotate) expiring certificates:

  1. Update your client or backend server to work with a new certificate bundle.


    The steps to update your client or backend server are unique to your system.

  2. Upload the new SSL certificate bundle to the load balancer
  3. Edit listeners or backend sets (as needed) so they use the new certificate bundle
  4. (Optional) Remove the expiring SSL certificate bundle

Configuring SSL Handling

With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Load Balancing, you can:

  • Terminate SSL at the load balancer. This configuration is frontend SSL. Your load balancer can accept encrypted traffic from a client. There is no encryption of traffic between the load balancer and the backend servers.
  • Implement SSL between the load balancer and your backend servers. This configuration is backend SSL. Your load balancer does not accept encrypted traffic from client servers. Traffic between the load balancer and the backend servers is encrypted.
  • Implement end to end SSL. Your load balancer can accept SSL encrypted traffic from clients and encrypts traffic to the backend servers.

Terminating SSL at the Load Balancer

To terminate SSL at the load balancer, you must create a listener at a port such as 443, and then associate an uploaded certificate bundle with the listener.

Implementing Backend SSL

To implement SSL between the load balancer and your backend servers, you must associate an uploaded certificate bundle with the backend set.


  • If you want to have more than one backend server in the backend set, sign your backend servers with an intermediate CA certificate. The intermediate CA certificate must be included as part of the certificate bundle.
  • Your backend services must be able to accept and terminate SSL.

Implementing End to End SSL

To implement end to end SSL, you must associate uploaded certificate bundles with both the listener and the backend set.

Using the Console

To upload an SSL certificate bundle to your load balancing system
To delete an SSL certificate bundle from your load balancing system

Using the API

For information about using the API and signing requests, see REST APIs and Security Credentials. For information about SDKs, see Software Development Kits and Command Line Interface.

Use these API operations to manage load balancer certificates: