In OPNsense, certificates are used for ensuring trust between peers. To make using them easier, OPNsense allows creating certificates from the front-end. In addition to that, it also allows creating certificates for other purposes, avoiding the need to use the openssl command line tool. Certificates in OPNsense can be managed from System ‣ Trust ‣ Certificates.

Examples of OPNsense components that use certificates:

  • OpenVPN

  • IPsec

  • Captive Portal

  • Web Proxy

Certificate types

The following types of certificate can be generated in OPNsense:

  • Client

  • Server

  • Combined Client/Server

  • Certificate Authority

In addition to this, OPNsense can generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). This can be used if you want to create a certficate signed by an external CA.


Make sure that you select the correct certificate type, as many clients will refuse connection (or at least show errors) if an incorrect certificate type is used. For example, you can use either a server certificate or a combined client/server certificate to secure the connection to the web interface, but not a CA or client certificate.

Revoke certificates

Certificate Revocation Lists

A Certificate Revocation Lists (CRL) is a list of certificates that have been revoked by the certificate authority. Some services in OPNsense can use these to validate if a certificate is still valid to use even though it might not be expired.

Defining a CRL in OPNsense is not very complicated, just go to System ‣ Trust ‣ Revocation and click on the [+] sign for your (local) certficate authority to create a new CRL. When a CRL exists, you may edit it and add or remove certificates in it (using the pencil icon).


If you wish to use a CRL for external tools you can download it using the button

One of the downsides of a CRL is that they don’t scale very well, each consumer of the list should download the full list in order to know if a certificate can still be trusted. Information often is less accurate as these lists usually are only generated on certain intervals.

When using a CRL for a local authority on OPNsense itself the scaling part usually isn’t a large issue as the number of certificates is usually limited (for example to the number of employees in your organisation).

To manually verify the created certificates using openssl commands, you need the following ingredients:

  1. The CA certificate chain which signed the certificates (export “cert” from Authorities menu)

  2. The CRL created in OPNsense (export “crl” from Revocation menu)

  3. A revoked certificate (export “cert” from Certificates menu)

  4. A non expired or revoked certificate

First we concatenate both the CA chain and the CRL into a single “chain” file:

# cat ca_chain.crt ca_crl.crl > my_chain.pem

Then validate a revoked certificate using the following openssl command:

# openssl verify -crl_check -CAfile my_chain.pem revoked_cert.crt
C=NL, CN=my_cert
error 23 at 0 depth lookup: certificate revoked
error ocsp_user_cert2.crt: verification failed

And a valid certificate:

# openssl verify -crl_check -CAfile my_chain.pem ok_cert.crt
ocsp_server_cert.crt: OK

Online Certificate Status Protocol

The Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) offers similar functionality as the CRL’s described earlier, but validates certificates “online” and offers a whitelising instead of a blacklisting method. Certificates are checked against an online known set of certificates after which the server responds with ‘good’, ‘revoked’, or ‘unknown’. Only good responses are considered valid.

In order to explain the client verifying a certificate where to check it’s validity, the AuthorityInfoAccess extenstion should be provided in the certificate authority (The parameter OCSP uri adds this to the certificate in OPNsense).


You can use the button to find the ocsp uri when available.

The OCSP responder (server) which validates the ‘OCSP request’ needs a special signing certificate, which can be created in OPNsense via System ‣ Trust ‣ Authorities, issued by the same CA which created the user and/or server certificates.

OPNsense does not implement an OCSP responder, but to test the concept, we can use the openssl-ocsp command.


openssl-ocsp is only intended to be used for test and demonstration purposes.

In order to test the concept, we need the following ingredients:

  1. The CA certificate chain which signed the certificates (export “cert” from Authorities menu)

  2. The OCSP signer certificate (export “cert” and “key” from Authorities menu for the signer)

  3. An index file for openssl-ocsp (export index from Revocation menu) as specified in

  4. A serial number of a revoked certificate (use the info button to find the serial number)

  5. A serial number of a non expired or revoked certificate

First start the server in a console:

# openssl ocsp -index index.txt -port 8081 -rsigner ocsp_signer.crt -rkey ocsp_signer.key -CA ca.crt -ignore_err -text

Then verify a known good certificate (with serial number 1):

# openssl ocsp -url -CAfile ca.crt -issuer ca.crt -serial 1
Response verify OK
1: good
        This Update: Jan  6 13:33:59 2024 GMT

A revoked one:

# openssl ocsp -url -CAfile ca.crt -issuer ca.crt -serial 2
Response verify OK
2: revoked
    This Update: Jan  6 13:34:54 2024 GMT
    Revocation Time: Jan 1 21:31:08 2024 GMT

And an unknown certificate

# openssl ocsp -url -CAfile ca.crt -issuer ca.crt -serial 9999
Response verify OK
9999: unknown
    This Update: Jan  6 13:36:51 2024 GMT

Usage examples

In Setup Self-Signed Certificate Chains with OPNsense you will find examples of how to setup certificate chains yourself.