Running JIRA applications over SSL or HTTPS
The instructions on this page describe how to run JIRA applications over SSL or HTTPS by configuring Apache Tomcat with HTTPS. This procedure only covers the common installation types of JIRA. It is by no means a definitive or comprehensive guide to configuring HTTPS and may not be applicable to your specific setup.
Why should you run JIRA over SSL or HTTPS? When web applications are being accessed across the internet, there is always the possibility of usernames and passwords being intercepted by intermediaries between your computer and the ISP/company. It is often a good idea to enable access via HTTPS (HTTP over SSL) and make this a requirement for pages where passwords are sent. Note, however, that using HTTPS may result in slower performance.
Before you begin
Please note the following before you begin:
- Atlassian Support will refer SSL support to the Certificate Authority (CA) that issues the Certificate. The SSL-related instructions on this page are provided as a reference only.
- For JIRA installations installed using Windows Installer:
Generate the Java KeyStore
In this section, you will create a Java Key Store (JKS), which will hold your SSL certificates. The SSL certificates are required for SSL to work in JIRA. In the SSL world, certificates fall into two major categories:
|Certificate||Description||When to use||Steps|
These are certificates that have not been digitally signed by a CA, which is a method of confirming the identity of the certificate that is being served by the web server. They are signed by themselves, hence the name self-signed.
Test, dev or internal servers only.
|1 - 13|
|CA-signed||A certificate that has had its identity digitally signed by a Certificate Authority (CA). This will allow browsers and clients to trust the certificate.||Production servers.||1 - 21|
Digital Certificates that are issued by trusted 3rd party CAs (Certification Authority) provide verification that your Website does indeed represent your company, thereby verifying your company's identity. Many CAs simply verify the domain name and issue the certificate. Other CAs, such as VeriSign, verify the existence of your business, the ownership of your domain name, and your authority to apply for the certificate, providing a higher standard of authentication.
A list of CA's can be found here. Some of the most well known CAs are:
We recommend using a CA-signed certificate.
- Download and install the Portecle app onto the server that runs JIRA.
This is a third-party application and is not supported by Atlassian.
Run the App as an Administrator, so it will have the appropriate permissions. Also, ensure the
<JAVA_HOME>variable is pointing to the same version of Java that JIRA uses. See Setting JAVA_HOME for further information on this.
If running on a Linux/UNIX server, X11 will need to be forwarded when connecting to the server (so you can use the GUI), as below:
- Select the Create a new Keystore option:
- Select the type JKS and OK:
- Select the Generate Key Pair button:
- Select the RSA algorithm and a Key Size of 2048:
- Make sure the Signature Algorithm is
"SHA1withRSA"and then edit the certificate details, as per the below example and select OK:
The Common Name MUST match the server's URL, otherwise errors will be displayed in the browser.
If you would like to use SHA256withRSA, please use the appropriate Signature Algorithm, and refer to: Security tools report the default SSL Ciphers are too weak.
- Choose an alias for the certificate - for example jira.
- Enter a password for the KeyStore (the default password used is typically
- The Key Pair Generation will report as successful, as per the below example:
Save the KeyStore in
<JIRA_HOME>/jira.jks, ensuring the use the same password in step 11. This can be done by File > Save Keystore.
- We need to generate a Certificate Signing Request for the CA to sign and confirm the identity of the certificate. To do so, right click on the certificate and choose Generate CSR. Save it in <JIRA_HOME>/jira.csr.
- Submit the CSR to a Certificate Authority for signing. They will provide a signed certificate (CA reply) and a set of root/intermediate CA certificates.
- Import the root and/or intermediate CA certificates with Import Trusted Certificate, repeating this step for each certificate.
- Import the signed certificate by right clicking on the
jiracertificate and selecting Import CA Reply:
- Select the certificate provided by the CA, which should be
jira.crt. This will respond with CA Reply Import successful.
- Verify this by checking Tools > Keystore Report. It should display the certificate as a child of the root certificates.
- Save the KeyStore and proceed to the next section.
Configuring your web server using the JIRA configuration tool
In this section, you will finish setting up SSL encryption for JIRA, by configuring your web server using the JIRA configuration tool. For more information on the JIRA configuration tool, see Using the JIRA configuration tool.
- Run the JIRA configuration tool, as follows:
- Windows: Open a command prompt and run
binsub-directory of the JIRA installation directory.
- Linux/Unix: Open a console and execute
binsub-directory of the JIRA installation directory.
This may fail with the error as described in our Unable to Start JIRA applications Config Tool due to No X11 DISPLAY variable was set error KB article. Please refer to it for the workaround.
- Windows: Open a command prompt and run
- Click the Web Server tab.
Screenshot: JIRA configuration tool — 'Web Server' tab
Fill out the fields as follows:
Field Value Control Port Leave as default. You can change the port number if you wish. See Changing JIRA's TCP ports. Profile A profile is a preset web server configuration. You can pick from the four following values:
- HTTP only
- HTTP & HTTPS (redirect HTTP to HTTPS)
- HTTPS only
To run JIRA over HTTPS, you must pick either 'HTTP & HTTPS' or 'HTTPS'.
Pick 'HTTP & HTTPS' if you want to run JIRA over HTTPS but you have users that access JIRA via HTTP. If you pick 'HTTP & HTTPS', users who try to access JIRA via HTTP will be redirected to the HTTPS address.
HTTP port Leave as default (8080). You can change the port number if you wish. See Changing JIRA's TCP ports.
This will be disabled if you set the Profile to 'HTTPS only'.
HTTPS port Leave as default (8443). You can change the port number if you wish. See Changing JIRA's TCP ports. Keystore path Specify the location of the keystore of your certificate. This will have been chosen when the keystore was saved in step 13 and should be
Keystore password Specify the password for your keystore. If you generated a self-signed certificate, this is the password you specified for the key and keystore when generating the certificate in step 13. Keystore alias Each entry in the keystore is identified by an alias. We recommend using
jirafor this certificate as in step 10.
- Click the Check Certificate in Key Store button to validate the following:
- Test whether the certificate can be found in the key store.
- Test whether keystore password works.
- Test whether key can be found using key alias.
- Click the Save button to save your changes.
Running more than one instance on the same host
When running more than one instance on the same host, it is important to specify the address attribute in the
<JIRA_INSTALLATION>/conf/server.xml file because by default the connector will listen on all available network interfaces, so specifying the address will prevent conflicts with connectors running on the same default port. See the Tomcat Connector documentation for more about setting the address attribute in The HTTP Connector Apache Tomcat docs.
Command Line Installation
Step 1. Create the KeyStore
Generate the Java KeyStore:
Instead of first and last name, enter the server URL, excluding "https://" (e.g.: jira.atlassian.com).
- Enter a password.
- Create the CSR for signing, using the password from step 2:
- Submit the CSR to the CA for signing. They will provide a signed certificate and a root and/or intermediate CA.
If the certificate will not be signed, skip to step 7.
Import the root and/or intermediate CA:
Import the signed certificate (the CA provides this):
Verify the certificate exists within the KeyStore:
This must be a
PrivateKeyEntry, if it is not the certificate setup has not successfully completed. For example:
Step 2. Update Tomcat with the KeyStore
- Create a backup of
<JIRA_INSTALL>/conf/server.xmlbefore editing it.
Edit the HTTPS connector so that it has the parameters that point to the KeyStore:
Ensure to put the appropriate path in place of
<JIRA_HOME>and change the port as needed.
If the organization doesn't support the latest TLS version, you can fallback to version 1.0. Change:
Edit the HTTP connector so that it redirects to the HTTPS connector:
<PORT_FROM_STEP_1>is change to the appropriate value. In this example it would be 8443.
- Save the changes to
If redirection to HTTPS will be used (this is recommended), edit the <
JIRA_INSTALL>/WEB-INF/web.xmlfile and add the following section at the end of the file, before the closing
</web-app>. In this example, all URLs except attachments are redirected from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Restart JIRA after you have saved your changes.
You can also redirect users from HTTP URLs to HTTPS URLs by choosing the 'HTTP & HTTPS' profile in the JIRA configuration tool. This will redirect all HTTP URLs to HTTPS URLs.
If you want to only redirect certain pages to HTTPS, you need to do this manually. To do this, select the 'HTTPS only' profile in the JIRA configuration tool and save the configuration, and then create an htaccess file on your web server that will manually redirect the HTTP URLs to the corresponding HTTPS URLs.
Here are some troubleshooting tips if you are using a self-signed key created by Portecle, as described above.
When you enter "https://localhost:<port number>" in your browser, if you get a message such as "Cannot establish a connection to the server at localhost:8443", look for error messages in your
logs/catalina.out log file. Here are some possible errors with explanations.
SSL + Apache + IE problems: Some people have reported errors when uploading attachments over SSL using IE. This is due to an IE bug, and can be fixed in Apache by setting:
Google has plenty more on this.
Can't find the keystore:
This indicates that Tomcat cannot find the keystore. The keytool utility creates the keystore as a file called
.keystorein the current user's home directory. For Unix/Linux the home directory is likely to be
/home/<username>. For Windows it is likely to be
C:\Documents And Settings\<UserName>.
Make sure you are running JIRA as the same user who created the keystore. If this is not the case, or if you are running JIRA on Windows as a service, you will need to specify where the keystore file is in
conf/server.xml. Add the following attribute to the connector tag you uncommented:
This can also happen ("Cannot find /root/.keystore") if you add a
keystoreFileattribute to the
httpconnector in server.xml instead of the
Certificate reply and certificate in keystore are identical:
This error will happen if you have identical names or fingerprints, which is the result of attempting to recreate the cert in your existing keystore. If you need to recreate or update the Cert, you may remove the existing keystore and creating a fresh, new keystore. In this case, creating a new keystore and adding the related certs will fix the issue. The default path for it in this documentation is
You used a different password than "changeit". You must either use "changeit" for both the keystore password and for the key password for Tomcat, or if you want to use a different password, you must specify it using the
keystorePassattribute of the Connector tag, as described above.
Passwords don't match:
You specified a different value for the keystore password and the key password for Tomcat. Both passwords must be the same.
If the Keystore has more than one certificate, Tomcat will use the first returned unless otherwise specified in the SSL Connector in
keyAliasattribute to the Connector tag you uncommented, with the relevant alias, for example:
Using Apache Portable Runtime:
APR uses a different SSL engine, and you will see an exception like this in your logs
The reason for this is that the APR Connector uses OpenSSL and cannot use the keystore in the same way. You can rectify this in one of two ways:
Use the Http11NioProtocol to handle SSL connections — Edit the server.xml so that the SSL Connector tag you just uncommented specifies the Http11NioProtocol instead of the APR protocol
Configure the Connector to use the APR protocol — This is only possible if you have PEM encoded certificates and private keys. If you have used OpenSSL to generate your key, then you will have these PEM encoded files - in all other cases contact your certificate provider for assistance.
Enabling Client Authentication: To enable client authentication in Tomcat, ensure that the value of the
clientAuthattribute in your
Connectorelement of your Tomcat's
For more information about
Connectorelement parameters, please refer to the SSL Configuration HOW-TO Tomcat 8 documentation.
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