Running GeoNode under SSL

Enabling SSL will encrypt traffic between your GeoNode server and client browsers. This approach involves re-configuring Apache to serve on port 443, instead of port 80. Other approaches exist and should be added to this document.

Generate SSL Key & Certificate

The first step is to generate a DES key.:

# for CommonName use GeoNode domain name or ip address as specified in GeoNode's SITEURL
openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 1024
openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr

# generate new server.key without challenge password, or Apache will ask for password at startup
mv server.key server.key.tmp
openssl rsa -in server.key.tmp -out server.key

# generate certificate
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt

Copy the key and certificate to the standard locations:

sudo cp server.crt /etc/ssl/certs/geonode.crt
sudo cp server.key /etc/ssl/private/geonode.key

It seems not necessary in standard GeoNode installations (via ppa) but if you plan to use other python or java applications, it could be useful also add the certificate to the cacerts file for python and java:

sudo -s "cat server.crt >> /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/httplib2/cacerts.txt"
sudo keytool -import -alias geonodessl -keystore /etc/ssl/certs/java/cacerts -file server.crt

Note: keytool will ask for a password and the standard password for the java cacerts file is changeit.

Apache Configuration

Enable the SSL module in Apache with the command:

sudo a2enmod ssl

Next as root edit the Apache geonode config file /etc/apache2/sites-available/geonode.conf. At the beginning of the file replace:

<VirtualHost *:80>


<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost _default_:443>

At the bottom of the file, replace:



    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/geonode.crt
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/geonode.key
    BrowserMatch "MSIE [2-6]" \
        nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
        downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
    # MSIE 7 and newer should be able to use keepalive
    BrowserMatch "MSIE [17-9]" ssl-unclean-shutdown

<VirtualHost  *:80>
    Redirect permanent / https://<ipaddressOrDomainName>/

Replace <ipaddressOrDomainName> with current value.

This tells Apache where to fine the key and certificate. There are also some additional lines to handle MSIE, taken from Apache’s default-ssl file.

Tomcat Configuration

As root edit the Tomcat server config file /etc/tomcat7/server.xml, and replace:

<Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"


<Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"

This tells Tomcat that it is running behind an https proxy. If this is omitted Tomcat will try to redirect to http.

GeoNode Configuration

As root edit the geonode config file /etc/geonode/ and change the SITEURL protocol to https:

SITEURL = 'https://<ipaddressOrDomainName>/'

GeoServer Configuration

As root edit the file /usr/share/geoserver/WEB-INF/web.xml and ensure the GEONODE_BASE_URL is specified as follows:


Also update proxyBaseUrl in the Geoserver global settings file /var/lib/geoserver/geonode-data/global.xml:


Replace XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX with your server internal address.


Finally restart Apache and Tomcat with:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat6 restart

This information was complied from a number of sources. The main links are listed below. Please contact the GeoNode list with any updates or corrections.