Install the certification authority

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

You can use this procedure to install Active Directory® Certificate Services (AD CS) so that you can enroll a server certificate to servers running Network Policy Server (NPS), Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS), or both.


To perform this procedure, the computer on which you are installing AD CS must be joined to a domain where Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is installed. To autoenroll server certificates to computers running NPS and RRAS, you must install AD CS on either the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter operating systems.

Membership in both the Enterprise Admins and the root domain's Domain Admins group is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

To install Active Directory Certificate Services

  1. Log on as a member of both the Enterprise Admins group and the root domain's Domain Admins group.

  2. Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager. The Server Manager console opens. In Roles Summary, click Add roles.

  3. The Add Roles Wizard opens. Click Next.

  4. On the Select Server Roles page, in Roles, select Active Directory Certificate Services, and then click Next twice.

  5. On the Select Role Services page, in Role services, verify that Certification Authority is selected, and then click Next.

  6. On the Specify Setup Type page, verify that Enterprise is selected, and then click Next.

  7. On the Specify CA Type page, verify that Root CA is selected, and then click Next.

  8. On the Set Up Private Key page, verify that Create a new private key is selected, and then click Next.

  9. On the Configure Cryptography for CA page, keep the default settings for CSP (RSA#Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider) and hash algorithm (sha1), and determine the best key character length for your deployment. Large key character lengths provide optimal security; however, they can impact server performance. It is recommended that you keep the default setting of 2048 or, if you deem it appropriate for your deployment, reduce Key character length to 1024. Click Next.

  10. On the Configure CA Name page, keep the suggested common name for the CA or change the name according to your requirements, and then click Next.

  11. On the Set Validity Period page, in Select validity period for the certificate generated for this CA, type the number and select a time value (Years, Months, Weeks, or Days). The default setting of five years is recommended. Click Next.

  12. On the Configure Certificate Database page, in Certificate database location and Certificate database log location, specify the folder location for these items. If you specify locations other than the default locations, ensure that the folders are secured with access control lists (ACLs) that prevent unauthorized users or computers from accessing the CA database and log files.

  13. Click Next, click Install, and then click Close.