After you generate the SDDC management certificates by using the CertGenVVD utility on a Windows host that has access to the data center, replace the certificate of the Consolidated vCenter Server over SSH using the vSphere Certificate Manager.

About this task

You replace certificates the vCenter Server sfo01w01vc01.sfo01.rainpole.local here.

Table 1. Certificate-Related Files on the vCenter Server Instances

vCenter Server FQDN

Files for Certificate Replacement


  • sfo01w01vc01.key

  • sfo01w01vc01.1.cer

  • chainRoot64.cer


  • CA-signed certificate files generated by using VMware Validated Design Certificate Generation Utility (CertGenVVD). See the VMware Validated Design Planning and Preparation documentation.

  • A Windows host with an SSH terminal access software such as PuTTY and an scp software such as WinSCP installed.


  1. Change the vCenter Server Appliance command shell to the Bash shell to allow secure copy (scp) connections.
    1. Open an SSH connection to sfo01w01vc01.sfo01.rainpole.local.
    2. Log in using the following credentials.



      User name




    3. Run the following command to enable Bash shell access for the root user.
      chsh -s "/bin/bash" root
  2. Copy the generated certificates from the Windows host to the vCenter Server Appliance.
    1. Run the following command to create a new temporary folder
      mkdir -p /root/certs
    2. Copy the certificate files sfo01m01vc01.1.cer, sfo01w01vc01.key, and chainRoot64.cerfrom the Windows host where you run the CertGenVVD utility to the /root/certs folder.

      You can use an scp software such as WinSCP.

  3. Replace the CA-signed certificate on the vCenter Server instance.
    1. Start the vSphere Certificate Manager utility on the vCenter Server instance.
    2. Select Option 1 (Replace Machine SSL certificate with Custom Certificate), enter the default vCenter Single Sign-On user name administrator@vsphere.local and the vsphere_admin_password password.
    3. When prompted for the Infrastructure Server IP, enter the IP address of the Platform Services Controller.

      Platform Services Controller Address

      IP Address of Platform Services Controller


    4. Select Option 2 (Import custom certificate(s) and key(s) to replace existing Machine SSL certificate).
    5. When prompted, provide the full path to the custom certificate, the root certificate file and the key file that you generated earlier, and confirm the import with Yes (Y).

      vCenter Server

      Input to the vSphere Certificate Manager Utility


      Please provide valid custom certificate for Machine SSL.

      File : /root/certs/sfo01w01vc01.1.cer

      Please provide valid custom key for Machine SSL.

      File : /root/certs/sfo01w01vc01.key

      Please provide the signing certificate of the Machine SSL certificate.

      File : /root/certs/chainRoot64.cer 

  4. After Status shows 100% Completed, wait several minutes until all vCenter Server services are restarted.
  5. Open the vSphere Web client to verify that certificate replacement is successful.
    1. Open a Web browser and go to https://sfo01w01vc01.sfo01.rainpole.local/vsphere-client.
    2. Verify that you see the new certificate.
  6. Run the following commands to restart the vami-lighttp service and to remove certificate files.
    service vami-lighttp restart
    cd /root/certs
    rm sfo01w01vc01.1.cer sfo01w01vc01.key chainRoot64.cer