Creating a server key ring file

Before you request a certificate from a CA, you must create a key ring file to store the certificates. A key ring file is a binary file that is password-protected and stored on the server's hard drive.

About this task

When you create a server key ring file (.KYR), IBM® Domino® generates an unsigned server certificate and automatically includes several trusted root certificates. The unsigned server certificate is not valid until it is signed by a certifier. Domino also creates a stash file (.STH) using the same name as the key ring file, but with the file extension .STH. Domino uses the stash file to store the key ring file password for unattended access to the server key ring file.

Every server certificate includes a distinguished name used for SSL connections. You set up this distinguished name when you create the server key ring file. Some components of a distinguished name are optional; however, the more components you include, the less likely you are to encounter an identical name elsewhere on the Internet.

Note: If you are requesting a server certificate from a server-based certification authority, you can use the IBM® Notes® client to create the server key ring and request a server certificate in the Certificate Requests database.

To create a server key ring file


  1. Set up the Server Certificate Admin application.
  2. From the Notes client, open the Server Certificate Admin application on the server for which you want to enable SSL.
  3. Click Create Key Ring.
  4. Complete these fields:
    Table 1. Key ring fields



    Key Ring File Name

    Enter the key ring file name. The default is KEYFILE.KYR. It's helpful to use the extension .KYR to keep key ring file names consistent.

    Note: the server's key ring file name appears in any Internet Site documents that you have configured, or, if Internet Site documents are not being used, on the Ports > Internet Ports tab of the Server document. If you specified a name other than the default, you need to edit the name where it appears -- in the Internet Site documents or in the Server document.

    Key Ring Password

    Enter the password for the key ring.

    Key Size

    Specify the key size Domino uses when creating the public and private key pairs. The larger the size, the stronger the encryption.

    Common name

    Enter the server's TCP/IP fully-qualified domain name -- for example,

    Set up the server certificate so that the common name matches the host name since some browsers check for this match before allowing a connection.


    Enter the name of the organization -- for example, a company name, such as Renovations.

    Organizational Unit

    Enter the name of certifier division or department.

    City or Locality

    Enter the organization city or locality.

    State or Province

    Enter the full name of the state or province in which the certifier organization resides.


    Enter the two-character abbreviation of country in which organization resides

  5. Click Create Key Ring.
  6. After you read the information about the key ring file and distinguished name, click OK. Notes creates the key ring file and stash (.STH) file and places them in the Notes data directory on the client machine used to create the key ring.
  7. Copy the key ring file and stash (.STH) file to the Domino data directory on the server.
    CAUTION: You must ensure that the key ring password in the stash file is protected. The key ring file password is altered in the stash file so that it cannot be recognized by a casual observer, but it is not encrypted. You should not allow unauthorized persons access to either the stash file or the key ring file. In the normal course of operation, only the server itself should have access to those files; however, administrators may also need permission to remove or replace the files. As with all server resources, managing proper file permissions and protections is vital to the security of the system.
  8. Request an SSL server certificate.