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Lab 9.3 mkcert.sh

tomp736 Posts: 13
edited March 2022 in LFS211 Class Forum

The steps are not clear on configuration of dovecot ssl to me.

On Ubuntu and Debian:
1. Edit/etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf and change the lines:
ssl = required
ssl_cert = </etc/dovecot/dovecot.pem
ssl_key = </etc/dovecot/private/dovecot.pem
2. Generate a self-signed certificate for IMAP.

cd /usr/share/dovecot

Comments on step 1.
The existing config has the following entries. The changes that are shown in the lab causes the configuration to point to a non-existant file for ssl_cert. And the the key points to the ssl_cert. It doesn't make any sense to me. If this is how it is supposed to be I would need some explanation on why?

ssl_cert = </etc/dovecot/private/dovecot.pem
ssl_key = </etc/dovecot/private/dovecot.key

Comments on step 2.
Running mkcert

root@ubn-mailserver-0:/usr/share/dovecot# ./mkcert.sh 
/etc/dovecot/ssl directory doesn't exist

I created the directory - and ran again.

root@ubn-mailserver-0:/usr/share/dovecot# ./mkcert.sh 
Generating a RSA private key
writing new private key to '/etc/dovecot/ssl/dovecot.key'

The cert files are populated to this ssl subdirectory, should the 10-ssl.conf be configured to use these cert/key files? Is the conf wrong for not pointing to this ssl subdirectory, or should these files be copied and overwrite the existing cert/key in the original private subdirectory.

Unless stated otherwise, I am under the assumption that I am not understanding something because I am not a linux expert... but I feel like there were some assumptions made in this lab on where files would be present with installation of dovecot and the generation of the ssl certificates in the ubuntu environment.

When the date is updated on a document (this document is dated Feb 28th 2022) does that mean the lab was reviewed?


  • tomp736
    tomp736 Posts: 13

    A little disappointing that these labs are not updated properly.

    I did a quick forum search and found information with details on what is incorrect from two years ago - along with a response that it would be updated.


    Can you please update this material? My experience with linux foundation classes has been OK thus far, but I feel like these kinds of issues with instructional material are a big issue for me.

  • lee42x
    lee42x Posts: 380

    Thank you for pointing this inconsistency out. Perhaps the sequence should be 1/make the new keys 2/insert keys into the config file.
    Please note the default configuration values shipped with the applications like dovecot and postfix are suggestions not rules. The default locations usually need updating.

  • tomp736
    tomp736 Posts: 13


    Yes I agree, having the certs generated first would make more sense. Then someone can check the path(s) that were used and update the config accordingly. Would make the lab material more future proof.


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