Setting up OCSP for Apache server


How do I set up an OCSP for server based on Apache?


Enable OCSP Stapling on Apache:

1. First check that Apache HTTPD Server 2.3.3 or above is installed by running one of the following commands:

apache2 –v
httpd -v

Versions lower than 2.3.3 do not support OCSP stapling, so you should update Apache before proceeding with the rest of this tutorial.

2. Check whether OCSP stapling is already enabled or not:

Use openssl command:

openssl s_client -connect -tls1 -tlsextdebug -status
  • Scroll down to "OCSP response:"

  • If OCSP is enabled, the “OCSP Stapling” is
OCSP Response Status: successful (0x0)
  • If OCSP is not enabled, you won’t see any OCSP Response Data:

OCSP response: no response sent

If it is not enabled, you won’t see any OCSP Response Data.

3. If Step 2 revealed no evidence that OCSP is enabled on your server, it is first worth checking that Apache can actually connect to our OCSP servers. Our OCSP servers are at the following locations: 

DNS HOSTNAME(S) Destination IP Port or 2a02:1788:2fd::b2ff:5301 Tcp/80

To check connectivity, use the following telnet command:

telnet 80

If the test is successful the reply will state ‘Connected to’ for at least one of the ‘Destination IP’ addresses in the table above.

If the test is unsuccessful the replies will state ‘Network Unreachable’ and/or ‘Connection Timed Out’. Please make the required network changes to allow your Apache server to connect to our OCSP servers. Once complete, we advise you to re-run the test in step 2 to establish whether OCSP stapling is already enabled.

4. To enable OCSP stapling you need to edit the virtual host configuration file for your site using the editor of your choice (example editors include nano or vi):

nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/

Make the following changes:

  • Add the following lines inside the <VirtualHost> tags:

SSLUseStapling on
SSLStaplingResponderTimeout 5
SSLStaplingReturnResponderErrors off
  • Add a line inside the tags which points to a trusted certificate chain file. This must contain the intermediate & root certificates in order:

SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/full_chain.pem

  • Add the following line outside the <VirtualHost> tags:

SSLStaplingCache shmcb:/var/run/ocsp(128000)

Use the example below as a reference configuration:

SSLStaplingCache shmcb: /var/run/ocsp(128000)

  <VirtualHost *:443>
      DocumentRoot /var/www

      SSLEngine on
      SSLUseStapling on

      SSLStaplingResponderTimeout 5
      SSLStaplingReturnResponderErrors off

      SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/
      SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/

      SSLCACertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/full_chain.pem

5. Test your configuration is OK:

apachectl –t

6. Restart Apache if OK:

service apache2 reload

7. Verify OCSP Stapling is working by repeating Step 2.

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