OpenSSL: unable to verify the first certificate for Experian URL

The Solution to OpenSSL: unable to verify the first certificate for Experian URL is


The first error message is telling you more about the problem:

verify error:num=20:unable to get local issuer certificate

The issuing certificate authority of the end entity server certificate is

VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G3

Look closely in your CA file - you will not find this certificate since it is an intermediary CA - what you found was a similar-named G3 Public Primary CA of VeriSign.

But why does the other connection succeed, but this one doesn't? The problem is a misconfiguration of the servers (see for yourself using the -debug option). The "good" server sends the entire certificate chain during the handshake, therefore providing you with the necessary intermediate certificates.

But the server that is failing sends you only the end entity certificate, and OpenSSL is not capable of downloading the missing intermediate certificate "on the fly" (which would be possible by interpreting the Authority Information Access extension). Therefore your attempt fails using s_client but it would succeed nevertheless if you browse to the same URL using e.g. FireFox (which does support the "certificate discovery" feature).

Your options to solve the problem are either fixing this on the server side by making the server send the entire chain, too, or by passing the missing intermediate certificate to OpenSSL as a client-side parameter.

~ Answered on 2011-10-04 06:53:36


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