Using Other Certificate Authorities
Note: LSC scientists and administrators at U.S. institutions should follow the instructions at Getting a Digital Certificate and Getting Server Certificates. These notes are intended for our GEO friends and others not at U.S. institutions.
Users are required to have a digital certificate in order to authenticate to grid services on the LSC DataGrid, and machines running grid services must have host or service certificates.
You obtain a digital certificate by submiting a request to a certificate authority (CA). Given you meet all of the requirements, the CA will digitally sign your request and return to you a signed digital certificate. Each of the countries in the European DataGrid runs a CA and you should submit your request to the appropriate CA following the instructions available from the links on this page.
Associated with each digital certificate is a private key. The private key is never known to the CA or any central administrator. Usually the private key is generated at the same time as the certificate request.
Generating a Certificate Request and Private Key
The procedure for generating a certificate request and private key varies. You should check with your CA for instructions. Still, there are two common ways:
The Globus Toolkit (and hence the Virtual Data Toolkit and the LSC
DataGrid Client/Server) includes the script
grid-cert-request which can be used for generating
personal, host, or service certificates.
When the script is run the private key and certificate request are generated and stored in two files as plain text. The request is usually sent by email to the CA for signing, but sometimes it is copied and pasted into a web form. The private key is never sent.
When the request has been signed the certificate, which is a public document, is often sent back via email, but sometimes it is made available for download from a web page.
In order to use the signed certificate with the Globus Toolkit you must save it into the proper file. For user certificates this is usually ~/.globus/usercert.pem.