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Configuring SSL

Configuring SSL



A better practice is having this layer at a proxy/load balancer service.

This document describes how to configure Rundeck for SSL/HTTPS support, and assumes it is running from the rundeck-launcher standalone launcher.

1. Before beginning:

Do a first-run of the launcher, as it will create the base directory for Rundeck and generate configuration files. (This is not necessary for RPM/DEB installations)

cd $RDECK_BASE;  java -jar 5.1.0.war

This will start the server and generate necessary config files. Press Ctrl-C to shut down the server after the message below is shown in the terminal:

Grails application running at http://localhost:4440 in environment: production

2. Using the keytoolopen in new window command, generate a keystore for use as the server cert and client truststore. Specify passwords for key and keystore:

Make sure to use the correct $HOSTNAME value both here and in response to the prompts below.

keytool -keystore $RDECK_BASE/etc/keystore -ext san=dns:$HOSTNAME -alias rundeck -genkey -keyalg RSA -keypass adminadmin -storepass adminadmin


Modern SSL clients no longer use the "CN" value of a certificate to validate the hostname, and require that the hostname be included in the SubjectAlternativeName field. The flag -ext san=dns:$HOSTNAME includes a "SubjectAlternativeName" when generating the certificate. Newer clients may fail with an error about validating the hostname if this is empty or does not contain a matching value. The flag value can include multiple entries such as -ext san=dns:x.tld,dns:y.tld.

Be sure to specify the correct DNS hostname of the server as the response to the question "What is your first and last name?". Answer "yes" to the final question.

It is OK to skip all the answers to the tool on the command-line by using a HERE document.

Replace the first line "$HOSTNAME" with the hostname for the Rundeck server, and use any other desired organizational values:

keytool -keystore etc/keystore -ext san=dns:$HOSTNAME -alias rundeck -genkey -keyalg RSA -keypass adminadmin -storepass adminadmin  <<!
My org
my city
my state


For RPM/DEB installations, see the configuration layout for better understanding of the used paths:

Rundeck Configuration - Configuration File Reference - Configuration Layout

3. CLI tools that communicate to the Rundeck server need to trust the SSL certificate provided by the server. They are preconfigured to look for a truststore at the location: $RDECK_BASE/etc/truststore. Copy the keystore as the truststore for CLI tools:

cp $RDECK_BASE/etc/keystore $RDECK_BASE/etc/truststore

4. Modify the file to specify the full path location of the keystore and the appropriate passwords:

vi $RDECK_BASE/server/config/

An example file (from the RPM and DEB packages).


The default keystore and truststore location path for war installation is $RDECK_BASE/etc/

5. Configure client properties. Modify the file:

vi $RDECK_BASE/etc/

Set them to the appropriate https protocol, ip,and change the port to 4443, or to the value from -Dserver.https.port runtime configuration property.


6. Configure server URL so that Rundeck knows its external address.

Modify the file

vi $RDECK_BASE/server/config/

Change the following properties to include the appropriate https protocol, hostname and port. (The port value can also be extracted from -Dserver.https.port runtime configuration property)


7. For WAR installations skip this step

Create/edit /etc/default/rundeckd:

export RUNDECK_WITH_SSL=true
export RDECK_HTTPS_PORT=1234

8. Start the server.

Tell the launcher where to read the

java -Drundeck.ssl.config=$RDECK_BASE/server/config/ -jar rundeck-5.1.0-20240214.war

You can change port by adding -Dserver.https.port:

java -Drundeck.ssl.config=$RDECK_BASE/server/config/ -Dserver.https.port=1234 -jar rundeck-5.1.0-20240214.war

If successful, there will be a line indicating the SSL connector has started:

Grails application running at https://localhost:1234 in environment: production


Make sure the entering packets to the used port are not being filtered by any kind of firewall rule.

Import Existing PFX Key to Keystore

Use the following commands to extract the Certificate, key and the CA from the PFX, and convert everything to the Keystore format. (Note: OpenSSL will need to be installed prior to starting)

To achieve this, please use the following commands:

openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.pfx -nocerts -nodes -out clientcert.key
openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.pfx -clcerts -nokeys -out clientcert.cer
openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.pfx -cacerts -nokeys -chain -out cacerts.cer

On each command type the PFX password to extract the files.


For better results, please rename the PFX certificate to "certificate.pfx"

After this, run the following command to merge the extracted files to P12 format:

openssl pkcs12 -export -in clientcert.cer -inkey clientcert.key -certfile cacerts.cer -name rundeck -out keystore.p12

In this step, type the password adminadmin, or the password defined on the the Rundeck instance if it is using a custom password, e.g. /etc/rundeck/ssl/

Once this is done, create or import the certificate to the Keystore using the following command:

keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore keystore.p12 -srcstoretype pkcs12 -destkeystore keystore -deststoretype JKS

In this step, type the same password from the previous step.

Once this is done, copy the keystore file to the Rundeck etc folder, e.g. /etc/rundeck/ssl/keystore


Add this new certificate to the current Keystore by changing the "-destkeystore keystore" by adding the path of the keystore file location, e.g.: -destkeystore /etc/rundeck/ssl/keystore

Securing passwords

Passwords have to be stored in the ssl.config. If they are not set, then the server will return a NullPointerException.

The passwords stored in can be obfuscated so they are not in plaintext:

Run the jetty "Password" utility:

java -jar rundeck.war --encryptpwd Jetty

This will produce two lines, one starting with "OBF:"

Use the entire OBF: output as the password in the file, eg:


Troubleshooting keystore

Some common error messages and causes: Keystore was tampered with, or password was incorrect

: A password specified in the file was incorrect.

2010-12-02 10:07:29.958::WARN: failed SslSocketConnector@ /Users/greg/rundeck/etc/keystore (No such file or directory)

: The keystore/truststore file specified in doesn't exist

Optional PEM export

You can export the PEM formatted server certificate for use by HTTPS clients (web browsers or e.g. curl).

Export pem cacert for use by e.g. curl:

keytool -export -keystore etc/keystore -rfc -alias rundeck > rundeck.server.pem

Using an SSL Terminated Proxy

You can tell Jetty to honor X-Forwarded-Proto, X-Forwarded-Host, X-Forwarded-Server and X-Forwarded-For headers in two ways:

In set:


Or by declaring the following JVM property:

  • rundeck.jetty.connector.forwarded set to "true" to enable proxy forwarded support.

For the executable war specify it on the commandline -Drundeck.jetty.connector.forwarded=true.

For RPM/DEB install export the RDECK_JVM_OPTS variable in the file /etc/sysconfig/rundeckd (RPM) or /etc/default/rundeckd (DEB) and add:


This will enable Jetty to respond correctly when a forwarded request is first received.

Note: You will still need to modify the grails.serverURL value in to let Rundeck know how to properly generate absolute URLs.

Disabling SSL Protocols

Rundeck 3

Rundeck 3 by default uses TLSv1.2. To use other protocols, it's necessary to enable them and Ciphers needed for the connection.

Flags for enabling TLS Protocols in Rundeck 3 using JVM

Use -Dserver.ssl.enabledProtocols to enable the protocol


Flags for enabling Ciphers in Rundeck 3 using JVM

Use -Dserver.ssl.ciphers to enable the Ciphers


For .RPM and .DEB Systems

Edit /etc/sysconfig/rundeckd (for .RPM) or /etc/default/rundeckd (for .DEB) and add the flags

RDECK_JVM_OPTS="-Dserver.ssl.enabledProtocols=YourProtocols -Dserver.ssl.ciphers=YourCiphers`

Check if the connection is successfully

Run this command from a terminal:

openssl s_client -connect HOST:PORT`

Example output:

SSL handshake has read 1359 bytes and written 439 bytes`
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA
Server public key is 2048 bit
Secure Renegotiation IS supported
Compression: NONE
Expansion: NONE
No ALPN negotiated
    Protocol  : TLSv1
    Cipher    : ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA
    Session-ID: 5E443B400D0D89F1665E451EDCDFF367BC702D008B7ED91FD34C23CF771D29A6
    Master-Key: 0D4E01C9B6B1BD6425CDB718B58B4C1197AEB02DB3E048981EB1FAA13772F8E22257BC10CBAA47FDE676597A7CADA5C1
    Key-Arg   : None
    PSK identity: None
    PSK identity hint: None
    SRP username: None
    Start Time: 1581529920
    Timeout   : 300 (sec)
    Verify return code: 18 (self signed certificate)

Rundeck 3 SSL Configuration with Tomcat Servlet

Create a Keystore file

From Linux Prompt:

keytool -keystore ./keystore -alias rundeck -genkey -keyalg RSA -keypass adminadmin -storepass adminadmin`

Copy the file to a desired directory (if not already created there):

cp keystore $Rdeck_Base/server/config

Configure $Tomcat_Base/conf/server.xml file with https protocol and properties


    <Connector port="8443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol"
               scheme="https" secure="true"
               clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS"

Configure rundeck-config properties file with port 8443 and https protocol in grails URL



Configure file with port and https protocol


framework.server.port = 8443
framework.server.url =

Restart Tomcat Service and enter new Rundeck URL