[Solved] Web SSL issue !


I setup a new Virtualmin server and I have a strange issue with Apache SSL. I have setup Apathe to accept only TLSv1.2 which is the correct choice now right ?
My virtual hosts work fine in web non SSL but as soon as I switch to https I get an ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in browser. Virtualmin side, I have nothing in error log of virtual tested but I have these strange lines in the access log file:

my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:33 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”
my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:33 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”
my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:34 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”
my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:34 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”
my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:34 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”
my ip here - - [01/May/2017:12:06:34 +0200] “\x16\x03\x01” 400 0 “-” “-”

All SSL certificates tested are either existing certificates used on a other Virtualmin server with success, either a brand new certificate made with Let’s Encrypt directly in Virtualmin !

Any ideas what’s wrong here ?



You still need TLSv1, 1.1 and 1.2 otherwise you cut out good chunk of browsers and devices from accessing your website. But the problem isnt only with TLS as you will need to set appropriate SSL ciphers. What ciphers, depends again on what browsers and devices you want to accommodate. You should really inform yourself before changing the system.

Not sure from where did you get that “only TLSv1.2 which is the correct choice” but the source of this information is wrong.

Thanks for correction so I ticked only TLSv1.1 and 1.2 but still same issue :frowning: For ciphers I have same setup as previous server:


Something else I can check ?

that error ("\x16\x03\x01…) can appear when there is not agreement in the cipher between your browser and the server.

Try this in in the server side:


restart apache. If the problem is with Webmin also you should change the cipher suite in Webmin and restart

If it doesn’t work, then look the config of your browser (in Firefox open page “about:config” and search for “ssl3.”) and check the ciphers are configured in true by default .

It should work.

Thanks for help but it didn’t change anything in fact :frowning: Side note, share code by quoting it (pasting it into message made it a mess, extra spaces :wink:

What I don’t understand is that it worked fine when I installed Virtualmin on that system and I didn’t really play with SSL out of regenerating Let’s Encrypt certificate for virtual servers !

Now I get that error in apache log of virtual:

[Tue May 02 09:55:23.077848 2017] [ssl:warn] [pid 12276] AH01906: urlofmyvirtualhere:443:0 server certificate is a CA certificate (BasicConstraints: CA == TRUE !?)

I don’t think it’s a browser problem as it’s same with Chromium, Chrome, Firefox and Opera and the SSL on Virtualmin/Webmin itself works fine !! Completely lost here where the problem is :frowning:

Post the content of your Apache/Httpd conf file and please use forum “code” tags.

Here is apache2.conf:
# This is the main Apache server configuration file. It contains the

configuration directives that give the server its instructions.

See http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/ for detailed information about

the directives and /usr/share/doc/apache2/README.Debian about Debian specific


Summary of how the Apache 2 configuration works in Debian:

The Apache 2 web server configuration in Debian is quite different to

upstream’s suggested way to configure the web server. This is because Debian’s

default Apache2 installation attempts to make adding and removing modules,

virtual hosts, and extra configuration directives as flexible as possible, in

order to make automating the changes and administering the server as easy as


It is split into several files forming the configuration hierarchy outlined

below, all located in the /etc/apache2/ directory:


|-- apache2.conf

| `-- ports.conf

|-- mods-enabled

| |-- *.load

| `-- *.conf

|-- conf-enabled

| `-- *.conf

`-- sites-enabled

`-- *.conf

* apache2.conf is the main configuration file (this file). It puts the pieces

together by including all remaining configuration files when starting up the

web server.

* ports.conf is always included from the main configuration file. It is

supposed to determine listening ports for incoming connections which can be

customized anytime.

* Configuration files in the mods-enabled/, conf-enabled/ and sites-enabled/

directories contain particular configuration snippets which manage modules,

global configuration fragments, or virtual host configurations,


They are activated by symlinking available configuration files from their

respective *-available/ counterparts. These should be managed by using our

helpers a2enmod/a2dismod, a2ensite/a2dissite and a2enconf/a2disconf. See

their respective man pages for detailed information.

* The binary is called apache2. Due to the use of environment variables, in

the default configuration, apache2 needs to be started/stopped with

/etc/init.d/apache2 or apache2ctl. Calling /usr/bin/apache2 directly will not

work with the default configuration.

Global configuration

ServerRoot: The top of the directory tree under which the server’s

configuration, error, and log files are kept.

NOTE! If you intend to place this on an NFS (or otherwise network)

mounted filesystem then please read the Mutex documentation (available

at URL:http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/core.html#mutex);

you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

Do NOT add a slash at the end of the directory path.

#ServerRoot “/etc/apache2”

The accept serialization lock file MUST BE STORED ON A LOCAL DISK.

Mutex file:${APACHE_LOCK_DIR} default

PidFile: The file in which the server should record its process

identification number when it starts.

This needs to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars


Timeout: The number of seconds before receives and sends time out.

Timeout 300

KeepAlive: Whether or not to allow persistent connections (more than

one request per connection). Set to “Off” to deactivate.

KeepAlive On

MaxKeepAliveRequests: The maximum number of requests to allow

during a persistent connection. Set to 0 to allow an unlimited amount.

We recommend you leave this number high, for maximum performance.

MaxKeepAliveRequests 100

KeepAliveTimeout: Number of seconds to wait for the next request from the

same client on the same connection.

KeepAliveTimeout 5

These need to be set in /etc/apache2/envvars


HostnameLookups: Log the names of clients or just their IP addresses

e.g., www.apache.org (on) or (off).

The default is off because it’d be overall better for the net if people

had to knowingly turn this feature on, since enabling it means that

each client request will result in AT LEAST one lookup request to the


HostnameLookups Off

ErrorLog: The location of the error log file.

If you do not specify an ErrorLog directive within a

container, error messages relating to that virtual host will be

logged here. If you do define an error logfile for a

container, that host’s errors will be logged there and not here.

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

LogLevel: Control the severity of messages logged to the error_log.

Available values: trace8, …, trace1, debug, info, notice, warn,

error, crit, alert, emerg.

It is also possible to configure the log level for particular modules, e.g.

“LogLevel info ssl:warn”

LogLevel warn

Include module configuration:

IncludeOptional mods-enabled/.load
IncludeOptional mods-enabled/

Include list of ports to listen on

Include ports.conf

Sets the default security model of the Apache2 HTTPD server. It does

not allow access to the root filesystem outside of /usr/share and /var/www.

The former is used by web applications packaged in Debian,

the latter may be used for local directories served by the web server. If

your system is serving content from a sub-directory in /srv you must allow

access here, or in any related virtual host.

Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride None Require all denied

<Directory /usr/share>
AllowOverride None
Require all granted

<Directory /var/www/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
Require all granted

#<Directory /srv/>

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks

AllowOverride None

Require all granted


AccessFileName: The name of the file to look for in each directory

for additional configuration directives. See also the AllowOverride


AccessFileName .htaccess

The following lines prevent .htaccess and .htpasswd files from being

viewed by Web clients.

<FilesMatch “^.ht”>
Require all denied

The following directives define some format nicknames for use with

a CustomLog directive.

These deviate from the Common Log Format definitions in that they use %O

(the actual bytes sent including headers) instead of %b (the size of the

requested file), because the latter makes it impossible to detect partial


Note that the use of %{X-Forwarded-For}i instead of %h is not recommended.

Use mod_remoteip instead.

LogFormat “%v:%p %h %l %u %t “%r” %>s %O “%{Referer}i” “%{User-Agent}i”” vhost_combined
LogFormat “%h %l %u %t “%r” %>s %O “%{Referer}i” “%{User-Agent}i”” combined
LogFormat “%h %l %u %t “%r” %>s %O” common
LogFormat “%{Referer}i -> %U” referer
LogFormat “%{User-agent}i” agent

Include of directories ignores editors’ and dpkg’s backup files,

see README.Debian for details.

Include generic snippets of statements

IncludeOptional conf-enabled/*.conf

Include the virtual host configurations:

IncludeOptional sites-enabled/*.conf

vim: syntax=apache ts=4 sw=4 sts=4 sr noet

and I guess you need also ssl.conf no ?

# Pseudo Random Number Generator (PRNG):
# Configure one or more sources to seed the PRNG of the SSL library.
# The seed data should be of good random quality.
# WARNING! On some platforms /dev/random blocks if not enough entropy
# is available. This means you then cannot use the /dev/random device
# because it would lead to very long connection times (as long as
# it requires to make more entropy available). But usually those
# platforms additionally provide a /dev/urandom device which doesn't
# block. So, if available, use this one instead. Read the mod_ssl User
# Manual for more details.
SSLRandomSeed startup builtin
SSLRandomSeed startup file:/dev/urandom 512
SSLRandomSeed connect builtin
SSLRandomSeed connect file:/dev/urandom 512

##  SSL Global Context
##  All SSL configuration in this context applies both to
##  the main server and all SSL-enabled virtual hosts.

#   Some MIME-types for downloading Certificates and CRLs
AddType application/x-x509-ca-cert .crt
AddType application/x-pkcs7-crl	.crl

#   Pass Phrase Dialog:
#   Configure the pass phrase gathering process.
#   The filtering dialog program (`builtin' is a internal
#   terminal dialog) has to provide the pass phrase on stdout.

SSLPassPhraseDialog exec:/usr/share/apache2/ask-for-passphrase

#   Inter-Process Session Cache:
#   Configure the SSL Session Cache: First the mechanism 
#   to use and second the expiring timeout (in seconds).
#   (The mechanism dbm has known memory leaks and should not be used).
#SSLSessionCache		 dbm:${APACHE_RUN_DIR}/ssl_scache
SSLSessionCache		shmcb:${APACHE_RUN_DIR}/ssl_scache(512000)
SSLSessionCacheTimeout  300

#   Semaphore:
#   Configure the path to the mutual exclusion semaphore the
#   SSL engine uses internally for inter-process synchronization. 
#   (Disabled by default, the global Mutex directive consolidates by default
#   this)
#Mutex file:${APACHE_LOCK_DIR}/ssl_mutex ssl-cache

#   SSL Cipher Suite:
#   List the ciphers that the client is permitted to negotiate. See the
#   ciphers(1) man page from the openssl package for list of all available
#   options.
#   Enable only secure ciphers:

# SSL server cipher order preference:
# Use server priorities for cipher algorithm choice.
# Clients may prefer lower grade encryption.  You should enable this
# option if you want to enforce stronger encryption, and can afford
# the CPU cost, and did not override SSLCipherSuite in a way that puts
# insecure ciphers first.
# Default: Off
#SSLHonorCipherOrder on

#   The protocols to enable.
#   Available values: all, SSLv3, TLSv1, TLSv1.1, TLSv1.2
#   SSL v2  is no longer supported
#SSLProtocol TLSv1.2

#   Allow insecure renegotiation with clients which do not yet support the
#   secure renegotiation protocol. Default: Off
#SSLInsecureRenegotiation on

#   Whether to forbid non-SNI clients to access name based virtual hosts.
#   Default: Off
#SSLStrictSNIVHostCheck On

vim: syntax=apache ts=4 sw=4 sts=4 sr noet

Thanks for help ;)

Could you edit your post and use forum code tags, it will make much easier to read and prevent the forum to change your code.

My fault, made a mistake on tags :frowning: should be ok now, sorry :wink:

SSLProtocol is commented. Try uncomment :

SSLProtocol ALL -SSLv2 -SSLv3

oh oki just that :frowning: Uncommented it and it now works perfect :wink: thanks a lot, still confused why this setting has been changed as it was working just after having installed Virtualmin on that new server !