Connecting to SSL services

Platform notice: Server and Data Center only. This article only applies to Atlassian products on the server and data center platforms.

The content on this page relates to platforms which are not supported. Consequently, Atlassian Support cannot guarantee providing any support for it. Please be aware that this material is provided for your information only and using it is done so at your own risk.


This page describes how to get web applications like Jira and Confluence connecting to external servers over SSL, via the various SSL-wrapped protocols. For instance, you may want to:

  • Refer to an https://... URL in a Confluence macro
  • Use an IMAPS server to retrieve mail in Jira
  • Use SMTP over SSL (SMTPS) to send mail in Jira
  • Connect to an LDAP directory over SSL
  • Set up Application Links over SSL

This does not cover running your application over SSL. Please see your product's documentation to run it over SSL:


Attempting to access URLs that are encrypted with SSL (for example HTTPS, LDAPS, IMAPS) throws an exception and your application refuses to connect to it. For example: PKIX path building failed: unable to find valid certification path to requested target
 at com.sun.mail.imap.IMAPStore.protocolConnect(
 at javax.mail.Service.connect(
 at javax.mail.Service.connect(

This is the same as the following error that's generated in Chrome when visiting a page that's encrypted with a self-signed certificate, except Java can't "Proceed anyway", it just refuses the certificate:


Whenever your application attempts to connect to another application over SSL (e.g.: HTTPS, IMAPS, LDAPS), it will only be able to connect to that application if it can trust it. The way trust is handled in the Java world (this is what your application is written in) is that you have a "truststore" file (typically $JAVA_HOME/lib/security/cacerts). This trust store file contains trusted certificates and Java uses this to determine if the SSL certificate used by another application can be trusted.  Java will only trust certificates that are signed by a Certificate Authority (CA) whose certificate is in the trust store, or public certificates that are added to the trust store. For example, if we look at the certificate for Atlassian:

We can see the * certificate has been signed by the intermediate certificates, DigiCert High Assurance EV Root CA and DigiCert High Assurance CA-3. These intermediate certificates have been signed by the root Secure Server CA. Those three certificates combined are referred to as the certificate chain. Because the three CA certificates are within the Java trust store file (cacerts), Java will trust any certificates signed by them (in this case, * Alternatively, if the * certificate was in the trust store, Java would also trust that site.

This problem comes from a certificate that is either self-signed (a CA did not sign it) or the certificate chain does not exist within the Java trust store. Subsequently, your application doesn't trust the certificate and fails to connect to the application.


In order to resolve this, the public certificate needs to be imported in the Java trust store that your application uses. In the example above, this is * and we cover how to install it below.

How to import a public SSL certificate into a JVM

Last modified on Sep 2, 2022

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