7

When trying to curl or git clone something over HTTPS as a regular user, it fails with the error:

fatal: unable to access 'https://github.com/mikemackintosh/xxx/': Problem with the SSL CA cert (path? access rights?)

Note: If i run the commands as root, it works fine, but root should not be the only user able to communicate over ssl.

So I think to myself, ok, what's curl doing behind the scenes:

$ GIT_CURL_VERBOSE=1 git clone https://github.com/mikemackintosh/xxx
Cloning into 'xxx'...
* Couldn't find host github.com in the .netrc file; using defaults
* Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache
*   Trying 192.30.252.130...
* Connected to github.com (192.30.252.130) port 443 (#0)
* error reading ca cert file /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt (Error while reading file.)
* Closing connection 0
fatal: unable to access 'https://github.com/mikemackintosh/xxx/': Problem with the SSL CA cert (path? access rights?)

As a result, we are able to confirm the ca-certificate file is: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt which matches curl-config -ca output.

The next step is to try and read the file. As just a plain-old, non-root user:

$ cat /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
cat: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt: Permission denied

Now that seems strange.

$ sudo ls -la /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 273790 Jun 15 22:35 /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

$ sudo lsattr /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
-------------e-- /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

So looking at the permissions, it is world-readable. There should be no problem accessing it. No crazy attributes preventing access.

doing an ls -la /etc/ssl/certs/ returns:

...
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? Verisign_Class_4_Public_Primary_Certification_Authority_-_G3.pem
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? VeriSign_Universal_Root_Certification_Authority.pem
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? Visa_eCommerce_Root.pem
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? WellsSecure_Public_Root_Certificate_Authority.pem
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? WoSign_China.pem
l????????? ? ? ? ?            ? WoSign.pem
...

If I run a sudo cat /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.pem, it spits out the contents as expected.

Oh, this is for sure a permissions issue.

Doing some googling, i've found that there is an ssl-cert group, but this group does not have rights to the /etc/ssl/certs directory.

Ruled out apparmor, ruled out disk corruption, there is no improvement if I run update-ca-certificates (w/wo -f), etc.

Has anyone seen this behavior?

I have never seen anything like this before, but I have duplicated it on two separate machines. As a note, I do come from a CentOS/RHEL background, so this could be a normal behavior of Ubuntu, but i'd love to find out a real solution.

3
  • What happens if you do dpkg-reconfigure ca-certificates and try again? sudo apt-get install --reinstall ca-certificates?
    – earthmeLon
    Jun 16, 2015 at 4:37
  • No changes when running those two.. still get permission denied. Jun 16, 2015 at 4:59
  • 1
    It ended up being a very poorly Chef cookbook that was included as a dependency that was changing the certificate directories' permissions. Dec 10, 2015 at 20:06

4 Answers 4

18

Run namei -mo /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt. Match its output to the following:

f: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
 drwxr-xr-x root root /
 drwxr-xr-x root root etc
 drwxr-xr-x root root ssl
 drwxr-xr-x root root certs
 -rw-r--r-- root root ca-certificates.crt

You can use chmod and chown to get everything back to the correct settings:

  • sudo chown root / && chown root /etc/ && chown root /etc/ssl/ && chown root /etc/ssl/certs/ && chown root /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
  • sudo chmod 755 /
  • sudo chmod 755 /etc/
  • sudo chmod 755 /etc/ssl/
  • sudo chmod 755 /etc/ssl/certs
  • sudo chmod 644 /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
1
  • FYI, to save you the trouble of looking it up: 755 corresponds to rwxr-xr-x, and 644 corresponds to rw-r--r--
    – Seth
    Aug 4, 2023 at 18:11
6

I encountered the same issue today. Here is what I did:

GIT_CURL_VERBOSE=1 git clone https://github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh.git

This clones repository in curl verbose mode (curl is causing issue right now)

Here is what I got

Cloning into 'oh-my-zsh'...
* Couldn't find host github.com in the .netrc file; using defaults
* Hostname was NOT found in DNS cache
*   Trying 192.30.252.131...
* Connected to github.com (192.30.252.131) port 443 (#0)
* error reading ca cert file /bin/curl-ca-bundle.crt (Error while reading file.)
* Closing connection 0
fatal: unable to access 'https://github.com/robbyrussell/oh-my-zsh.git/': Problem with the SSL CA cert (path? access rights?)

Note the line:

  • error reading ca cert file /bin/curl-ca-bundle.crt (Error while reading file.)

I had a configuration issue in ~/.gitconfig [HTTP]->sslCAinfo section. You might not have the same issue, but it will give you enough information to debug on your own.

1
  • This was very useful! Solved my issue. My sslCAinfo was mistaken as well. Jan 10, 2019 at 21:16
3

In unix, the whole path is checked, so in my opinion, you should check if the folders in the path have permissions, I think, they should have at least rw-, don't panic, w doesn't mean write if talking about folders... Because if you have /a/b/c/certificate.pem and you can't get past "b", you can't get past b :D

Hope it helps :)

2
  • Thanks, i forgot to add that to the OP, but ``` ~$ ls -la /etc/ | grep ssl drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 Jun 13 23:02 ssl ~$ ls -la /etc/ssl/ | grep cert drw-r--r-- 2 root root 20480 Jun 16 00:58 certs``` Jun 16, 2015 at 5:08
  • well it seems strange to me, maybe you could try just setting the curl-config -ca path to somewhere else and copy there the certs it needs. I know this is not the solution you're looking for, but it is a solution at least...
    – IcyIcyIce
    Jun 16, 2015 at 5:14
2

Make sure you've CA certificates to allow SSL-based applications to check for the authenticity of SSL connections. They can be installed by:

sudo apt-get install ca-certificates openssl

This can be missing especially in Docker or CI containers.

If you have it, consider reinstalling it.

You can also try running: sudo update-ca-certificates.

Related:

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