Nginx restarting due to unable to read private key for existing SSL certificate

Hi, I am trying to set up a self hosted instance on a Windows server using an existing SSL wildcard cert provided by our IT service team. They have given me the three files specified on the cert options instructions and they are in the right folder. However, the nginx container just keeps restarting every 30 seconds or so.

This is the error shown in the nginx log (replaced the server string with MYSERVER in the pasted in line):

2023/12/13 19:26:11 [emerg] 1#1: cannot load certificate key “/etc/ssl/MYSERVER/private.key”: PEM_read_bio_PrivateKey() failed (SSL: error:2807106B:UI routines:UI_process:processing error:while reading strings error:0906406D:PEM routines:PEM_def_callback:problems getting password error:0907B068:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio_PrivateKey:bad password read)

Found a similar topic to this from a few years back, but the poster did not respond to a question. Hopefully I have provided enough info and I WILL respond to any questions to try and get this working.

I am not experienced with using certificates or niginx - is there somewhere that I need to enter in a password that our IT team have to provide?

This is a brand new installation and I am still trying to get it to work.

I found out what was wrong here and learned something. My IT team provided the private.key file and since that is a complicated looking text file that opens in notepad I assumed it was not encrypted. Turns out that it was and that opening in notepad has nothing to do with it.

It had this line in it:


I did not know anything about this type of file, but now do and told our IT team. They then provided the decrypted key and it now starts. My mistake for assuming they knew what they were doing.