Self-Signed CA

Pigsty comes with a set of self-signed CA PKI for issuing SSL certs to encrypt network traffic.

Pigsty has some security best practices: encrypting network traffic with SSL and encrypting the Web interface with HTTPS.

To achieve this, Pigsty comes with a built-in local self-signed Certificate Authority (CA) for issuing SSL certificates to encrypt network communication.

By default, SSL and HTTPS are enabled but not enforced. For environments with higher security requirements, you can enforce the use of SSL and HTTPS.

Local CA

Pigsty, by default, generates a self-signed CA in the Pigsty source code directory (~/pigsty) on the ADMIN node during initialization. This CA is used when SSL, HTTPS, digital signatures, issuing database client certificates, and advanced security features are needed.

Hence, each Pigsty deployment uses a unique CA, and CAs from different Pigsty deployments do not trust each other.

The local CA consists of two files, typically located in the files/pki/ca directory:

  • ca.crt: The self-signed root CA certificate, which should be distributed and installed on all managed nodes for certificate verification.
  • ca.key: The CA private key, used to issue certificates and verify CA identity. It should be securely stored to prevent leaks!

Using an Existing CA

If you already have a CA public and private key infrastructure, Pigsty can also be configured to use an existing CA.

Simply place your CA public and private key files in the files/pki/ca directory.

files/pki/ca/ca.key     # The essential CA private key file, must exist; if not, a new one will be randomly generated by default
files/pki/ca/ca.crt     # If a certificate file is absent, Pigsty will automatically generate a new root certificate file from the CA private key

When Pigsty executes the install.yml and infra.yml playbooks for installation, if the ca.key private key file is found in the files/pki/ca directory, the existing CA will be used. The ca.crt file can be generated from the ca.key private key, so if there is no certificate file, Pigsty will automatically generate a new root certificate file from the CA private key.

Trust CA

During the Pigsty installation, ca.crt is distributed to all nodes under the /etc/pki/ca.crt path during the node_ca task in the node.yml playbook.

The default paths for trusted CA root certificates differ between EL family and Debian family operating systems, hence the distribution path and update methods also vary.

rm -rf /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/ca.crt
ln -s /etc/pki/ca.crt /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/ca.crt
rm -rf /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ca.crt
ln -s /etc/pki/ca.crt /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ca.crt

By default, Pigsty will issue HTTPS certificates for domain names used by web systems on infrastructure nodes, allowing you to access Pigsty’s web systems via HTTPS. If you do not want your browser on the client computer to display “untrusted CA certificate” messages, you can distribute ca.crt to the trusted certificate directory on the client computer.

You can double-click the ca.crt file to add it to the system keychain, for example, on macOS systems, you need to open “Keychain Access,” search for pigsty-ca, and then “trust” this root certificate.

Check Cert

Use the following command to view the contents of the Pigsty CA certificate

openssl x509 -text -in /etc/pki/ca.crt
Local CA Root Cert Content
        Version: 3 (0x2)
        Serial Number:
        Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption
        Issuer: O=pigsty, OU=ca, CN=pigsty-ca
            Not Before: Feb  7 00:56:27 2023 GMT
            Not After : Jan 14 00:56:27 2123 GMT
        Subject: O=pigsty, OU=ca, CN=pigsty-ca
        Subject Public Key Info:
            Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption
                Public-Key: (4096 bit)
                Exponent: 65537 (0x10001)
        X509v3 extensions:
            X509v3 Subject Alternative Name: 
            X509v3 Key Usage: 
                Digital Signature, Certificate Sign, CRL Sign
            X509v3 Basic Constraints: critical
                CA:TRUE, pathlen:1
            X509v3 Subject Key Identifier: 
    Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption
    Signature Value:

Issue Database Client Certs

If you wish to authenticate via client certificates, you can manually issue PostgreSQL client certificates using the local CA and the cert.yml playbook.

Set the certificate’s CN field to the database username:

./cert.yml -e cn=dbuser_dba
./cert.yml -e cn=dbuser_monitor

The issued certificates will default to being generated in the files/pki/misc/<cn>.{key,crt} path.

Last modified 2024-03-07: add ca / iac in en/docs (4720967)