Config for hawkBit under SSL/TLS using private CA / sub CA

A user-contributed recipe based on hawkBit (0.2.0-SNAPSHOT) + swupdate (v2018.03)


Use HTTPS on a hawkBit server to avoid server spoofing. Anonymous client connections are authorized.


  1. On the PKI:
  • Create a pkcs#12 (.p12) file, rolling server key, server, private CA, sub CA certs into a single file.
  • Use a password on the server key you won’t be ashamed of.
  • Also create a single .pem file for the private CA + sub-CA
  1. On the hawkBit host:
  • hawkBit uses the Java KeyStore to access credentials, but a JKS is not designed apparently to hold CA certs, which is a problem for private CAs. The workaround is to make it gulp an entire pkcs#12 file.
  • It looks like a JKS like this cannot have a password different from the one protecting the .p12. Keytool also seems to have a little tendency to destruct the .jks if you change your mind and want to change the password… Basically do everything you need with openssl and use only keytool for generating the .jks file.

The following command imports a .p12 into a “pkcs12 Java keystore”, keeping the same password:

keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore hb-pass.p12 -srcstoretype pkcs12 \
        -destkeystore hb-pass.jks -deststoretype pkcs12 \
        -alias 1 -deststorepass <password_of_p12>

Then you need to adapt of the hawkBit server to make use of the keystore. There are extra requirements to make hawkBit send artifacts via HTTPS.

This is the relevant part of <hawkBit dir>/hawkbit-runtime/hawkbit-update-server/src/main/resources/

# HTTPS mode working w/ swupdate
# See also
# Need to run as root to use port 443
# Overriding some of is required
# Upgrades http:8443 to https:8443
# Would redirect + upgrade http:80 to https:443
# Server cert+key w/ private CA + subCA
# See also
# (2008, still relevant!?)
# File .jks is a .p12 imported via keytool. Only one password supported, set from openssl.
  1. On the swupdate client host(s):
  • The client needs the private CA certificate(s) to authenticate the server.
  • There is a setting in swupdate to specify the path to a single CA cert, not a directory. Beyond that, libcurl looks into /etc/ssl/certs. So we’re using a compound “CA chain” .pem file to hold both private CA and sub-CA in our preferred location.

This is the relevant part of /etc/swupdate/swupdate.conf:

suricatta :
 tenant = "default";
 id = "machineID";
 url = "https://hb.domain:8443";
 nocheckcert = false;
 cafile = "/etc/swupdate/priv-cachain.pem"; /* CA + sub CA in one file */
 /* sslkey = anon client: do not set; */
 /* sslcert = anon client: do not set; */