Apache Fails to Start: Because of Missing SSLCACertificateFile

June 10, 2013 / SSL

This tutorial is applicable for:

* Parallels Plesk Panel 11.x for Linux
* Parallels Plesk Panel 10.x for Linux
* Parallels Plesk Panel 9.x for Linux/Unix
* Parallels Plesk Panel 8.x for Linux/Unix

Warning sign

# /etc/init.d/httpd restart
Stopping httpd: [FAILED]
Starting httpd: Syntax error on line 39 of

SSLCACertificateFile: file ‘/usr/local/psa/var/certificates/cert-cwJPGJ’ does not exist or is empty

If you are receiving the above error message when you try to restart Apache. It means the certificate file for your domain name is missing.


First of all, start Apache. Generally, a lot of customers express their frustration when Apache goes down. To get Apache up, check the certificate files:

For example:

# cd /usr/local/psa/var/certificates/
# ls -la
total 28
dr-x—— 2 root root 4096 Jun 1 07:41.
drwxr-xr-x 11 psaadm psaadm 4096 Jun 13 05:02 ..
-r——– 1 root root 3625 Jun 7 20:10 cert-a3byPq
-r——– 1 root root 3046 Jun 5 12:32 certGdzxcfT
-r——– 1 root root 2710 Jun 9 09:00 cert-YbKPly

You will find the default certificate with no dashes in its name. Copy that certificate to the file name of the missing certificate:

# cp certGdzxcfT cert-cwJPGJ

Remember, you should change both file names to match the ones on your server.

Restart Apache:

# /etc/init.d/httpd restart

Everything is fine now, but the problem domain’s SSL may give a certificate warning to website users. So we need to re-upload the domain’s certificate to the control panel, for the proper file to get generated:

  1. In case you do not have the certificate data, then you can get it from the control panel, it should be there. Save it for re-uploading.
  2. Also delete the problem certificate from its repository.
  3. Upload the certificate again.

This will fix your problem completely.