Because browsers frown upon self-signed certificates, and it’s a pain to trust each certificate on each system. In addition, some browsers are stubborn enough to keep always asking for security exceptions.

Well, lets do this


We’ll assume that you have generated your SSL certificate and have the following files handy:

  • unifi.p12 containing private key, encrypted with pass-phrase passphrase
  • unifi.cer containing certificate

For how to generate SSL certificate please see my previous post Creating Self-Signed Certificate Authority to issue SSL certificates using Certificate Assistant on macOS. Make sure to specify actual FQDNs for your UniFi Controller, including unifi and all other FQDNs it is expected to be reached by.


I’ll be using CloudKey G2 Plus. Certificates are located under /etc/ssl/private/. There you will find the following:

  • cloudkey.crt – ssl certificate,
  • cloudkey.key – private key, and
  • unifi.keystore.jks – same keys for UniFi in java keystore format.
  • cert.tar – this must contain the above three files, content of which is compared with the contents of the directory during boot.

We need to do the following:

  • Backup current certificates
  • Delete old certificates
  • Delete old tar
  • Decrypt new certificates
  • Import them into Java Key Store with pre-defined passphrase
  • Compress the resulting data into the tar.
  • Restart services


Prepare the following bash script named dothis.sh. Read comments for details about what’s going on.


# Backup current certificate. Just in case. Can never be too careful
tar -zcvf /root/CloudKeySSL_`date +%Y-%m-%d_%H.%M.%S`.tgz /etc/ssl/private/*

# Delete current files
rm -f   /etc/ssl/private/cert.tar                           \
        /etc/ssl/private/unifi.keystore.jks                 \
        /etc/ssl/private/unifi.keystore.jks.md5             \
        /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.crt                       \

# Unpack certificates
openssl pkcs12 -in unifi.p12 -nodes     -out /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.key -nocerts -password pass:passphrase
openssl x509 -inform der -in unifi.cer  -out /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.crt

# Decrypt keys and convert certificates to plain text
# Note, aircontrolenterprise is not arbitrary. this is what UniFi is expecting
openssl pkcs12 -export -in /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.crt    \
                    -inkey /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.key    \
                      -out /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.p12    \
                      -name unifi -password pass:aircontrolenterprise

# Import keys into Java Key Store
keytool -importkeystore -deststorepass aircontrolenterprise \
            -destkeypass aircontrolenterprise               \
            -destkeystore /usr/lib/unifi/data/keystore      \
            -srckeystore /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.p12      \
            -srcstoretype PKCS12 -srcstorepass aircontrolenterprise -alias unifi

# Cleanup
rm -f /etc/ssl/private/cloudkey.p12

pushd /etc/ssl/private

# Create tar file cloudkey expects
tar -cvf cert.tar *

# set permissions
chown root:ssl-cert /etc/ssl/private/*
chmod 640           /etc/ssl/private/*


# Test
/usr/sbin/nginx -t
echo "Press enter to restart nginx and unifi"

/etc/init.d/nginx restart
/etc/init.d/unifi restart

Copy this bash script along with unifi.p12 and unifi.cer to the same directory to your cloudkey, ssh to the device and execute it:

scp dothis.sh unifi.p12 unifi.cer cloudkey:
ssh cloudkey

chmod +x dothis.sh

Now what?

We are done. Refresh the page in the browser and enjoy green lock and lack of security warnings for all three services: CloudKey, UniFi and Protect.