VCH Deployment Fails with Certificate cname Mismatch

When you use vic-machine create to deploy a virtual container host (VCH), the deployment fails with an error about the certificate cname value.


Deployment fails during the validation of the configuration that you provided:

Provided cname does not match that in existing server certificate: cname
Unable to load certificates: cname option doesn't match existing server certificate 
in certificate path path_to_certificate


vic-machine create attempts to re-use certificates that it finds in --cert-path. The default value of --cert-path derives from the value that you specify in --name. If you are deploying a VCH from the same location and with the same name as a previous VCH, vic-machine create reuses the old certificates. This behavior is intentional, to allow you to easily redeploy a VCH without requiring you to re-issue client certificates to users.

Before reusing the existing certificates, vic-machine confirms that the existing certificate is valid given the options supplied for the new deployment. The options that influence this in order of priority are:

  • --tls-cname if specified, or
  • --client-ip-address, or
  • --public-ip-address if the client and public network roles share an interface.

The error message means that the existing certificate has a Common Name attribute that differs from the value derived from the options detailed above.


  • To reuse the certificates directly, change --tls-cname, --client-ip-address, or --public-ip-address to match the Common Name in the existing certificate.

  • If you want to reuse the Certificate Authority so that client certificates remain valid, but you need to provide a different IP address:

    1. Manually generate the server certificates by using openssl, signing them with the existing CA.
    2. Use the --cert and --key options to pass the newly generated certificates to vic-machine create.
  • If you do not want to reuse the certificates, choose one of the following options:

    • Change the location from which you run vic-machine. This alters the default --cert-path.
    • Change the value of --name. This alters the default --cert-path.
    • Specify --cert-path explicitly.
    • Delete the existing certificates from --cert-path