The online tool at Qualys for testing webserver SSL configurations, https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/index.html, produces a list of codeslike TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, TLS_RSA_WITH_CAMELLIA_256_CBC_SHA etc.

There are a lot of howtos on the net, but none of them show how to relate the actual string codes to those in the webservers. It is easy enough to use them but there is no knowning how they arrive at those settings in particular.

Is there some kind of table relating the codes with the actual lines in nginx or apache configurations?

1 Answer 1


I think you're asking how to map the openssl ciphers list configuration that you can supply to Apache and to Nginx to the IANA TLS cipher suite list.

openssl have a list that translates cipher suite names between their standard names used in RFCs (and by Qualys tool) and the names used by openssl.

You should take advantage of openssl's ability to generate longer list of cipher suites from shorter names, and specify a succinct configuration like EECDH+aRSA+AESGCM:EDH+aRSA+AESGCM:EECDH+aRSA+AES:EDH+aRSA+AES that makes openssl generate this:

DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384   TLSv1.2 Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AESGCM(256) Mac=AEAD
DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256   TLSv1.2 Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AESGCM(128) Mac=AEAD
ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384     TLSv1.2 Kx=ECDH     Au=RSA  Enc=AES(256)    Mac=SHA384
ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA        SSLv3   Kx=ECDH     Au=RSA  Enc=AES(256)    Mac=SHA1
ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256     TLSv1.2 Kx=ECDH     Au=RSA  Enc=AES(128)    Mac=SHA256
ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA        SSLv3   Kx=ECDH     Au=RSA  Enc=AES(128)    Mac=SHA1
DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA256       TLSv1.2 Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AES(256)    Mac=SHA256
DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA          SSLv3   Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AES(256)    Mac=SHA1
DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256       TLSv1.2 Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AES(128)    Mac=SHA256
DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA          SSLv3   Kx=DH       Au=RSA  Enc=AES(128)    Mac=SHA1

which is basically what you want (as long as you don't use ECDSA certificates and made sure your DHE uses a good 2048 bit group).

  • If you see this in 2019, please don't use SSLv3 anymore.
    – MechMK1
    Nov 13, 2019 at 8:14
  • 1
    That cipher suite list does not use SSLv3, an "SSLv3" cipher suite like ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA was first named in the spec for SSLv3, that's why it's marked this way. Those cipher suites are as secure as the TLS CBC cipher suites defined in TLS v1.2, because hmac sha1 is still as secure as ever. Of course you should use AEAD.
    – Z.T.
    Nov 13, 2019 at 8:20
  • Ah yes, that makes sense.
    – MechMK1
    Nov 13, 2019 at 8:22

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