SSL handshake fail between nginx and my tomcat with mutual authentication

flash008 nginx-forum at
Fri Jan 3 09:35:06 UTC 2014

Hi All, 

I am using Nginx 1.4.4 as reverse proxy for my tomcat server. My problem is:
SSL handshake failed between Nginx and tomcat with mutual SSL
authentication. I have verified that Client to Nginx with mutual SSL is
working. But if my upstream backend is also using https:mutual port, the
path will fail with error:
[error] 1816#3436: *23 SSL_do_handshake() failed (SSL: error:14094412:SSL
routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:sslv3 alert bad certificate:SSL alert number 42)
while SSL handshaking to upstream, client: xx.xx.xx.xx, server:, request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream:
"https://xx.xx.xx.xx:8082/", host: "xx.xx.xx.xx:8002"

My upstream server https://xx.xx.xx.xx:8082 is using mutual SSL and working
perfectly without Nginx.
the Nginx host https://xx.xx.xx.xx:8002 is using mutual SSL and also working
perfectly without the upstream mutual ssl or with only http port.
The problem is: when both Nginx and upstream require mutual SSL, and I would
like to pass the client certificate to Nginx then to my upstream server, the
SSL handshake error occurs.

I have tried to add client cert in headers, but no luck. Here is part of my
nginx config
	server {
		listen       xx.xx.xx.xx:8002;
		server_name  xx.xx.xx.xx;	
		ssl on;
		ssl_certificate C:/nginx-1.4.4/cert/MyServer.crt;
		ssl_certificate_key C:/nginx-1.4.4/cert/MyServer.key;
		ssl_client_certificate C:/nginx-1.4.4/cert/MyCA.pem;	
		ssl_trusted_certificate	C:/nginx-1.4.4/cert/MyCA.pem;
		ssl_prefer_server_ciphers  on;		
		ssl_verify_client on;
                ssl_verify_depth 3;
		ssl_protocols  SSLv2 SSLv3 TLSv1;

		access_log  C:/nginx-1.4.4/logs/access_8002.log;
		error_log  C:/nginx-1.4.4/logs/error_8002.log debug;
		root   html;
		index  index.html index.htm;
		location / {
		 proxy_redirect default;
		 proxy_set_header Host $host:$server_port;
		 proxy_set_header        X-Real-IP       $remote_addr;
		 proxy_set_header 		Client-IP $remote_addr;
		 proxy_set_header        X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
		 proxy_set_header		 X-Forwarded-Ssl on;
		proxy_set_header    X-Client-Verify  $ssl_client_verify;
		proxy_set_header	X-SSL-Client-Cert $ssl_client_cert;	
		proxy_set_header 	X-SSL-Client-Serial $ssl_client_serial;
		proxy_set_header 	X-SSL-Client-Verify $ssl_client_verify;
		proxy_set_header 	X-SSL-Client-S-DN   $ssl_client_s_dn;	

Is this usage supported by Nginx? 
I would be very grateful if someone can point me some clues or suggestions.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Posted at Nginx Forum:,245971,245971#msg-245971

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