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Use Custom SSL certificates with CloudFront (Free)

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Although CloudFront provides its own wildcard certificate (*.cloudfront.net) for free with each Distribution you create but in that’s case you can not use your own domain CNAME to access the content from CDN over HTTPS e.g: you can’t use media.azfarhashmi.com instead you can only use CloudFront provided Domain Name e.g: ‘d3shv1t4v6he9p.cloudfront.net‘.

To use custom certificate you first have to upload your certificates into IAM which you can do via AWS CLI tools.


aws iam upload-server-certificate --server-certificate-name azfarhashmi2015 \

--certificate-body file://azfarhashmi.com.crt --private-key \

file://azfarhashmi.com.key --certificate-chain file://azfarhashmi0interm.pem \

--path /cloudfront/

Here server-certificate-name is the display name of your SSL that will appear in CloudFront settings, –certificate-body is the path to your certificate, –private-key is the path to your certificate private key, –certificate-chain is the path to your certificate complete Chain file and –path will remain /cloudfront/ in our case.

If you are having any error uploading certificates then make sure your certificates are in PEM format, your –certificate-body file does not contain any intermediate / Root certificate (in-case of nginx etc) and you are providing complete Chain in correct order i:e your Root Certificate should be in last.

Once the certificates are uploaded you can go to distribution settings and and choose ‘Custom SSL Certificate (stored in AWS IAM)’ option and select the recently uploaded Certificate, make sure that ‘Only Clients that Support Server Name Indication (SNI)’ is selected otherwise AWS will charge you additional $600/m for assigning you dedicated IP addresses at each Edge location.

As of now the SNI option should be enough for you if your Content is accessed by Browsers and no other application / library is accessing it as all latest Browsers have implemented SNI protocol, however if you are not sure then you can consult with WikiPedia article here

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