[openssl-users] Personal CA: are cert serial numbers critical?

Michael Ströder michael at stroeder.com
Wed Aug 16 13:32:10 UTC 2017

Tom Browder wrote:
> I plan to tidy my automation before the issue of new certs, but I wonder
> how critical it is to ensure unique certificate serial numbers given that
> the certs are only used for us.  I'm not even sure I'll ever revoke any
> cert (they were issued to expire sometime in 2030).
> So, in summary, do I need to ensure cert serial numbers are unique for my
> CA?

Yes, serial numbers should be unique per issuer-DN because the 2-tuple
(issuer-DN, cert serial no.) is expected to be unique in several protocols.

Ciao, Michael.

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