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Creating New Keystores

WSO2 Identity Server is shipped with a default keystore named wso2carbon.jks that is stored in the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security directory. This keystore comes with a private/public key pair that is used for all purposes, such as encrypting sensitive information, communicating over SSL and for message encryption/signing purposes in WS-Security. You can either use one new keystore for all purposes in your product, or you can create multiple keystores for each purpose.

Let's get started with creating new keystores.

Before you begin

To understand the types of keystores you need, see recommendations for setting up keystores in WSO2 Identity Server.

Creating a new keystore

There are two ways to create keystores for WSO2 Identity Server. You can either generate a keystore using an already existing public key certificate (CA-signed), or you can create the public key certificate at the time of generating the keystore. See the instructions given below.


If you are creating a new keystore for data encryption, make sure to acquire a public key certificate that contains the Data Encipherment key usage as explained in recommendations for setting up keystores. Otherwise, the following error can occur when you attempt data encryption:

Exception in thread "main" org.wso2.ciphertool.CipherToolException: Error initializing Cipher at org.wso2.ciphertool.CipherTool.handleException( at org.wso2.ciphertool.CipherTool.initCipher( at org.wso2.ciphertool.CipherTool.main( Caused by: Wrong key usage at javax.crypto.Cipher.init(DashoA13..) at javax.crypto.Cipher.init(DashoA13..) at org.wso2.ciphertool.CipherTool.initCipher( 1 more

Creating a keystore using an existing certificate

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol that is used to secure communication between systems. This protocol uses a public key, a private key and a random symmetric key to encrypt data. As SSL is widely used in many systems, certificates may already exist that can be reused. In such situations, you can use an already existing CA-signed certificate to generate your keystore for SSL by using OpenSSL and Java keytool.

  1. First, you must export certificates to the PKCS12/PFX format.


    Provide strong passwords whenever required.


    Make sure to have the same password for both the keystore and private key.

  2. To export the entries of a trust chain into a keystore of .pfx format, execute the following command.

    openssl pkcs12 -export -in <certificate file>.crt -inkey <private>.key -name "<alias>" -certfile <additional certificate file> -out <pfx keystore name>.pfx
  3. To convert the PKCS12/PFX formatted keystore to a Java keystore, execute the following command.

    keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore <pkcs12 file name>.pfx -srcstoretype pkcs12 -destkeystore <JKS name>.jks -deststoretype JKS

    Now you have a keystore with a CA-signed certificate.

Creating a keystore using a new certificate

You can follow the steps in this section to create a new keystore with a private key and a new public key certificate. We will be using the keytool that is available with your JDK installation. Note that the pubic key certificate we generate for the keystore is self-signed. Therefore, if you need a public key certificate that is CA-signed, you need to generate a CA-signed certificate and import it to the keystore as explained in the next section. Alternatively, you can choose the option of generating a new keystore using a CA-signed public certificate as explained previously.

  1. Navigate to the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory in a command prompt. All keystores should be stored here.
  2. To create the keystore that includes the private key, execute the following command.

    keytool -genkey -alias newcert -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -keystore newkeystore.jks -dname "CN=<>, OU=Home,O=Home,L=SL,S=WS,C=LK" -storepass mypassword -keypass mypassword 

    This command will create a keystore with the following details:

    • Keystore name: newkeystore.jks
    • Alias of public certificate: newcert
    • Keystore password: mypassword
    • Private key password: mypassword (this should be as same as keystore password)


    • If you did not specify values for the -keypass and the -storepass in the above command, you will be asked to give a value for the -storepass (password of the keystore). As a best practice, use a password generator to generate a strong password. You will then be asked to enter a value for -keypass. Click Enter because we need the same password for both the keystore and the key.
    • If you did not specify values for -dname, you will be asked to provide those details individually.
  3. Open the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory and check if the new keystore file is created. Make a backup of it and move it to a secure location. This is important as it is the only place with your private key.

Now you have a keystore (.jks file) with a private key and a self-signed public key certificate.

Adding CA-signed certificates to keystores

Let's look at how to get a CA-signed certificate for your keystores.


It is not required to create a new keystore everytime you need to add a CA-signed certificate.

Step 1: Generate certificate

First, you need to generate a certificate signing request (CSR) for your keystore (.jks file). This CSR file can then be certified by a certification authority (CA), which is an entity that issues digital certificates. These certificates certify the ownership of a public key.

  1. Execute the following command to generate the CSR:

    keytool -certreq -alias certalias -file newcertreq.csr -keystore newkeystore.jks


    As mentioned before, use the same alias that you used during the keystore creation process.

    Note that you will be prompted to provide the keystore password. Once the password is given, the command will output the newcertreq.csr file to the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory. This is the CSR that you must submit to a CA.

  2. You must provide this CSR file to the CA. For testing purposes, try the 90 days trial SSL certificate from Comodo.


    It is preferable to have a wildcard certificate or multiple domain certificates if you wish to have multiple subdomains like,, and for the deployment. For such requirements, you must modify the CSR request by adding subject alternative names. Most of the SSL providers give instructions to generate the CSR in such cases.

  3. After accepting the request, a signed certificate is provided along with a root certificate and several intermediate certificates (depending on the CA) as a bundle (.zip file).

    Sample certificates provided by the CA (Comodo)

    The Root certificate of the CA: AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt
    Intermediate certificates: COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt , COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt
    SSL Certificate signed by CA: test_sampleapp_org.crt

Step 2: Import certificates to the keystore

Follow the steps given below to import the CA-signed certificate to your keystore.

  1. To add the root CA certificate and the two (related) intermediate certificates, execute the following commands.

    keytool -import -v -trustcacerts -alias ExternalCARoot -file AddTrustExternalCARoot.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword
    keytool -import -v -trustcacerts -alias TrustCA -file COMODORSAAddTrustCA.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword
    keytool -import -v -trustcacerts -alias SecureServerCA -file COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt -keystore newkeystore.jks -storepass mypassword 


    You may append the -storepass <keystore password> option to avoid entering the password when prompted later in the interactive mode.

  2. To add the CA-signed SSL certificate to the keystore, execute the following command.


    Make sure to use the same alias (i.e., newcert) that you used while creating the keystore

    keytool -import -v -alias newcert -file <test_sampleapp_org.crt> -keystore newkeystore.jks -keypass mypassword -storepass mypassword

Now you have a Java keystore, which includes a CA-signed public key certificate that can be used for SSL in a production environment. Next, you may need to add the same CA-signed public key certificate to the client-truststore.jks file. This will provide security and trust for backend communication/inter-system communication of WSO2 Identity Server via SSL.

Step 3: Import certificates to the truststore

In SSL handshake, the client needs to verify the certificate presented by the server. For this purpose, the client usually stores the certificates it trusts, in a trust store. To enable secure and trusted backend communication, all WSO2 products are shipped with a trust store named client-truststore.jks, which resides in the same directory as the default keystore (<IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/).

Follow the steps given below to import the same CA-signed public key certificate (which you obtained in the previous step) into your WSO2 Identity Server's default truststore (lient-truststore.jks).

  1. Get a copy of the client-truststore.jks file from the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory.
  2. To export the public key from your .jks file, execute the following command.

    keytool -export -alias certalias -keystore newkeystore.jks -file <public key name>.pem
  3. Import the public key you extracted in the previous step to the client-truststore.jks file using the following command.

    keytool -import -alias certalias -file <public key name>.pem -keystore client-truststore.jks -storepass wso2carbon


    'wso2carbon' is the keystore password of the default client-truststore.jks file.

    Now, you have an SSL certificate stored in a Java keystore and a public key added to the client-truststore.jks file. Note that both these files should be in the <IS_HOME>/repository/resources/security/ directory. You can now replace the default wso2carbon.jks keystore in your product with the newly created keystore by updating the relevant configuration files in your product.


For information on the keystore concepts and how keystores are used in WSO2 Identity Server, see Using Asymmetric Encryption.

What's next?

Once you have created a new keystore in your product as explained above, update the relevant configuration files as explained in Configuring Keystores in WSO2 Products.