The upcoming VDI-in-a-Box version 5.3 has a large number of new features or dramatic improvements. One of my favorite new features that has been added is the inclusion of a graphical interface for creating and managing SSL certificates.

Those who are familiar with the process of creating and managing SSL certificates on previous versions of VDI-in-a-Box are likely breathing a collective sigh of relief upon hearing this news.  For those unfamiliar, the process involved logging into the command line of the Linux appliance and using various commands to either create or import a SSL certificate with Java Keytool. This was one of the only reasons that a VDI-in-a-Box administrator would ever need to log into the CLI of the Linux appliance, and now that will no longer be necessary with the implementation of the SSL Certificate UI.

The UI, as seen in the above image, offers the administrator the options to either generate a CSR to be submitted to the CA of their choice to receive a CA-signed certificate, or the option to generate a Self-signed certificate.  It is also possible to distribute the certificate to all servers in the VDI-in-a-Box grid, which is useful if a wildcard certificate is being used, or if a virtual IP is being used for the grid and any server in the grid may be resolved by the FQDN of the virtual address.

When generating a CSR, or creating a self-signed certificate, the UI will prompt the administrator to enter the information necessary to generating a valid certificate, such as FQDN, organization information, location information, and key size. Once your information has been entered, simply click create and the self-signed certificate will be applied, or the CSR will be downloaded. If you are applying a self-signed certificate there is no further actions to be taken (aside from saving the certificate as trusted in your domain controller). If you are going down the path to creating a CA signed certificate, take the CSR that has been downloaded, send it to the CA of your choosing, and then use the “Install Cert” option to apply the signed certificate received from the CA.

That’s the new SSL Certificate Wizard in a nutshell. I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions from the users out there on this feature and on 5.3 as a whole. If you are interested in seeing more about what’s new in version 5.3 of VDI-in-a-Box, check out some of the other blogs that have already been posted which I have linked below.  Also, stay tuned for future blogs that will be coming in the next few weeks as we count down to the release date!