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OS X Mountain Lion Server For Dummies by John Rizzo

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Working with Secure SSL Certificates

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a small file that enables the server to prove its identity to client computers and other networks and enables encrypted communications. A certificate contains your server’s domain name and organization information; it also has a cryptographic key associated with it (a public key). You have the option to use SSL certificates with contacts, web, e-mail, calendar, and messaging services to encrypt data sent between clients and the server.

When you installed OS X Server, a self-signed certificate was created that will work with the built-in services. This certificate includes the computer name that you designated. You can also create additional self-signed certificates on Mountain Lion Server, as described in the following sections. You need to do this if you change the host name of the Mac. With self-signed certificates, the user’s software asks the user whether the certificate should be trusted.

For a higher level of security, you can use a certificate from a third party. For instance, when you set up the Apple push notification service, the Server app guides you through obtaining a certificate from Apple specifically for push notifications, as used by Profile Manager. For other services, you can purchase a signed SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority such as VeriSign (www.verisign.com), Thawte (www.thawte.com), and GlobalSign (www.globalsign.com).

Using SSL certificates

In Mountain Lion ...

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