Jan Hutař edited this page May 16, 2017 · 5 revisions

How to setup Spacewalk with PostgreSQL database over SSL

There are two possible ways to get Spacewalk + PostgreSQL database to communicate over SSL:

  • New Spacewalk + PostgreSQL database installation with SSL (Follow [#NewSpacewalk New Spacewalk] instructions).
  • Reconfigure existing Spacewalk to start using SSL (Follow [#ExistingSpacewalk Existing Spacewalk] instructions).

New Spacewalk

Existing Spacewalk

Enabling SSL on PostgreSQL database

In /var/lib/pgsql/data:

  • Create server.crt -- signed certificate.

  • Create server.key -- private key for certificate (chmod 0400).

  • Edit postgresql.conf -- add ssl=on directive.

    • Related directives are ssl_ciphers, ssl_renegotiation_limit. Consult your security people for tweaking those.
  • Edit pg_hba.conf -- Change lines allowing remote hosts (Spacewalk) to start with hostssl instead of host. Example of change:

    --- old/pg_hba.conf
    +++ new/pg_hba.conf
     local rhnsat rhnsat md5
     host  rhnsat rhnsat md5
     host  rhnsat rhnsat ::1/128 md5
     local rhnsat postgres ident map=usermap
     local postgres postgres ident map=usermap
    -host   rhnsat rhnsat md5
    +hostssl   rhnsat rhnsat md5
  • Make sure keys are owned by postgres and have correct permissions.

    # chown postgres:postgres /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.{key,crt}
    # chmod 0400 /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.key

Restart database:

# service postgresql restart


Some usefull information that can help you in case of issues is in directory /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_log.

Example self-signed certificate

# openssl req -new -text -out server.req
# openssl rsa -in privkey.pem -out server.key
# rm privkey.pem
# openssl req -x509 -in server.req -text -key server.key -out server.crt
# cp server.{key,crt} /var/lib/pgsql/data
# chown postgres: /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.{key,crt}
# chmod og-rwx /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.key


Follow usual installation guide, but use --external-postgresql-over-ssl option in addition to --external-postgresql. In addition to usual stuff you will be prompted for location of file containing certificate of trusted certification authority. Installator will make sure certificate will get into ~/.postgresql/root.crt, /etc/rhn/postgresql-db-root-ca.cert, and /etc/rhn/javatruststore.jks. It will also change permissions, do restorecon, and set db_ssl_enabled = 1 in rhn.conf.

spacewalk-setup --disconnected --external-postgresql --external-postgresql-over-ssl

Command-line utilities

Tools that use rhn.conf should be all ok after following steps in Enabling SSL on Spacewalk. However, some (e.g. installation) do not. For those you can use procedure described here.

Command-line utilities that connect directly to database use libpq (psql, python based, Perl based). To employ full potential of SSL (perform verification of server identity on top of encryption), it is needed (and strongly recommended) to tell libpq so. Without following modification library will detect that server is willing to connect only via SSL and act appropriately but without verifying certificates, thus making connection vulnerable.

You need certificate of trusted certification authority (in case of self signed certificate it would be /var/lib/pgsql/data/server.crt from database server) in ~/.postgresql/root.crt (path can be changed with PGSSLROOTCERT environment variable). Then you can run installer with PGSSLMODE environment variable set to verify-full. Example of calling spacewalk-sql would be

# PGSSLMODE=verify-full spacewalk-sql -i

or you can export PGSSLMODE variable

# export PGSSLMODE=verify-full
# spacewalk-sql -i

Enabling SSL on Spacewalk

  • First, you need spacewalk nightly.

  • You need certificate of trusted certification authority in /etc/rhn/postgresql-db-root-ca.cert. (Path can be changed by option db_sslrootcert in rhn.conf.)

  • Set db_ssl_enabled to property to 1 in /etc/rhn/rhn.conf:

    db_ssl_enabled = 1
  • Follow steps in Java subsection.

  • Restore selinux context for new files.

    # restorecon -R -F -v /etc/rhn/

Most database-aware components in Spacewalk should work with this.


Java-based components (Tomcat, Taskomatic, and Rhn-search) require certificates to be stored in TrustStore. Its default location /etc/rhn/javatruststore.jks can be overwritten by java.ssl_truststore option in rhn.conf.

TrustStore is manipulated by keytool. It expects key to be in DER format for import. TrustSore needs password for creation/manipulation, not for access though. Follows example of importing authority certificate.

# openssl x509 -in /etc/rhn/postgresql-db-root-ca.cert -out server.der -outform der
# keytool -keystore /etc/rhn/javatruststore.jks -alias postgresql -import -file server.der
# rm server.der

For SSL-related troubleshooting one can temporarily add to JAVA_OPTS, for example in /etc/sysconfig/tomcat6.

Change password to keystore

# keytool -storepasswd -keystore /path/to/keystore.file
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