Keystore configurations for SSL


Use keystore configurations to define how the runtime for WAS loads and manages keystore types for SSL configurations.

By default, the attribute...

...does not display a predefined list of keystore types in the admin console. Instead, WAS retrieves all of the KeyStore types that can be referenced by the object...

...including keystores...

If we specify a keystore provider in the file or add it to the provider list programmatically, WebSphere Application Sever also retrieves custom keystores. The retrieval list depends upon the configuration for that platform and process.


IBMJCE file-based keystores (JCEKS, JKS, and PKCS12)

A typical IBMJCE file-based keystore configuration is shown in the following sample code:

<keyStores xmi:id="KeyStore_1" 
           type="PKCS12" fileBased="true" 
           description="Default key store for Node01" 

Table 1. keystore configurations

Attribute name Default Description
xmi:id Varies Reference the keystore from another area in the configuration, for example, from an SSL configuration. Make this value unique within security.xml.
name For JSSE keystore: CellDefaultKeyStore.

For JSSE truststore: CellDefaultTrustStore.

A name used to identify the keystore by sight. The name can determine if the keystore is a default keystore based upon whether the name ends with either...

  • DefaultKeyStore
  • DefaultTrustStore
password WebAS

IBM recommends that this be changed as soon as possible.

The password used to access the keystore name is also the default used to store keys within the keystore.
description No default A description of the keystore.
usage What the keystore is used for. Valid values:

  • SSLKeys
  • KeySetKeys
  • RootKeys
  • DeletedKeys
  • DefaultSigners
  • RSATokenKeys
provider IBMJCE The Java provider that implements the type attribute (for example, PKCS12 type). The provider can be left unspecified and the first provider that implements the keystore type specified is used.
location The default varies, but typically references a key.p12 file or a trust.p12 file in the node or cell directories of the configuration repository. These files are PKCS12 type keystores. The keystore location reference.

If the keystore is file-based, the location can reference any path in the file system of the node where the keystore is located. However, if the location is outside of the configuration repository, and you want to manage the keystore remotely from the admin console or from the wsadamin utility, then specify the hostList attribute that contains the host name of the node where it resides.

type PKCS12 Specifies the keystore. Valid types can be those returned by the attribute..."KeyStore")

These types include the following keystore types, and availability depends on the process and platform configuration:

  • JKS
  • PKCS12
  • PKCS11 (Java crypto device)
  • IBMi5OSKeyStore
  • JCECCAKS keystores (replacing JCE4758KS) - (z/OS crypto device)

fileBased true Indicates a file-system keystore so we can use a FileInputStream or FileOutputStream for loading and storing the keystore.

Required for default keystores.

hostList Remote hostname so that the keystore can be remotely managed.

There are no remotely managed keystores by default. All default keystores are managed locally in the configuration repository and synchronized out to each of the nodes.

The option manages a keystore remotely.

We can set the host name of a valid node for a keystore.

When you use either the admin console or the wsadmin utility to manage certificates for this keystore, an MBean call is made to the node where the keystore exists for the approved operation. We can specify multiple hosts, although synchronization of the keystore operations are not guaranteed. For example, one of the hosts listed might be down when a specific operation is performed. Therefore, use multiple hosts in this list.

initializeAtStartup true Initialize the keystore during startup. This option can be important for hardware cryptographic device acceleration.
readOnly false We cannot write to this keystore. Certain update operations on the keystore cannot be attempted and are not allowed. An example of a read-only keystore type is JCERACFKS on the z/OS platform. This type is read-only from the WebSphere certificate management standpoint, but we can also update it using the keystore management facility for RACF.
managementScope The default scope is the node scope for a base Application Server environment and the cell scope for a ND environment. Management scope in which we can see this keystore.

For example, if a hardware cryptographic device is physically located on a specific node, then create the keystore from a link to that node in the topology view under Security > Security Communications > SSL configurations. We can also use management scope to isolate a keystore reference. In some cases, we might need to allow only a specific application server to reference the keystore; the management scope is for that specific server.


CMS keystores

We can set some provider-specific attributes in CMS keystores. If the CMSKS provider supports the createStashFileForCMS attribute, and you set the attribute to true for CMSKS keystores, WAS creates an .sth file in the keystore location that is referenced by the attribute. The .sth extension is appended to the keystore name.

For example, if the CMSKS keystore is available for a plug-in configuration and you set createStashFileForCMS to true, the stash file that is represented in the following sample code is created in...

<keyStores xmi:id="KeyStore_1132071489571"

When you create a CMS keystore, the CMS provider is IBMi5OSJSSEProvider, and the CMS type is IBMi5OSKeyStore, as shown in the following sample code:

<keyStores xmi:id="KeyStore_1132071489571"


Hardware cryptographic keystores

For cryptographic device configuration, see Key management for cryptographic uses .

We can add a slot either as the custom property...

...or as the configuration attribute...

The custom property is read before the attribute for backwards compatibility.

In certain environments, we can use the hardware cryptographic card for hardware acceleration. Either set the useForAcceleration attribute to true or set the custom property...

When you set the attribute to true, you are not required to configure a password. However, we cannot use the device to store keys.


Related concepts

Secure communications using SSL