Can I transfer an SSL cert between Servers?

Linode Staff


My website currently does not have an SSL Certificate. Before I install one, I had an Ubuntu Server set up so I can not setup cPanel (or MySQL).

My question is, would it be pointless to install an SSL certificate if I have to move the server to CentOS?

If it is seamless, can I get the SSL certificate going on this Ubuntu server, then port it over to the new CentOS server?

1 Reply

Hey there,

Great question! If you're planning on changing distros or moving to a new Linode, your SSL certificate will still be valid as long as you update your domain to point to the new machine.

Since SSL certificates are tied to a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), the IP address it points to doesn't make a difference. While possible to get an SSL certificate assigned to a public IP address, this is rare, and you wouldn't have a domain tied to it as well.

If your domain is hosted with Linode, you can use our guide on updating your domain record here to make the switch.

However, within the Cloud Manager, you can use our Transferring IP Addresses tool to swap IP addresses between your Linodes; eliminating the downtime you would experience waiting for your new DNS record to propagate.

In summary, it would not be pointless to configure your SSL certificate before migrating to your new CentOS install. Done properly, the transition can be seamless, and you should be able to make the switch while experiencing little to no downtime. We also have an excellent guide on working with rsync that can help you get your data transferred over easily.

After you install your service stack on your new distro, make sure that you are copying your files to the correct new directory, as not all distros and services use the same directory structure. If you do have to use a different folder, make sure you update your copied configurations to point to the correct folder.

We also have guides for Installing cPanel on CentOS and how to Use cPanel to Manage Domains and Databases for when you're ready to get started with cPanel.


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