Adding a custom ca root certificate to gcloud utility or python generally on w

When working with the gcloud utility or Python in general, you may encounter situations where you need to add a custom CA root certificate. This can be necessary to establish secure connections with external services or to authenticate with certain APIs. In this article, we will explore three different ways to solve this problem.

Option 1: Adding the CA root certificate to the system trust store

The first option is to add the CA root certificate to the system trust store. This ensures that all applications, including the gcloud utility and Python, will trust the certificate without any additional configuration. Here’s how you can do it:


import os
import shutil

# Path to the CA root certificate file
ca_cert_path = "/path/to/ca_cert.crt"

# Path to the system trust store
trust_store_path = "/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt"

# Copy the CA root certificate to the trust store
shutil.copyfile(ca_cert_path, trust_store_path)

# Update the trust store permissions
os.chmod(trust_store_path, 0o644)

This solution modifies the system trust store, which may require administrative privileges. It is a global configuration change that affects all applications using the system trust store. However, it provides a seamless experience as all applications will automatically trust the added CA root certificate.

Option 2: Specifying the CA root certificate in the gcloud configuration

If you only need the CA root certificate for the gcloud utility, you can specify it in the gcloud configuration. This allows you to isolate the certificate to the gcloud utility without affecting other applications. Here’s how you can do it:


import subprocess

# Path to the CA root certificate file
ca_cert_path = "/path/to/ca_cert.crt"

# Add the CA root certificate to the gcloud configuration
subprocess.run(["gcloud", "config", "set", "custom_ca_certs_file", ca_cert_path])

This solution modifies the gcloud configuration and only affects the gcloud utility. Other Python applications will not automatically trust the added CA root certificate. However, it provides a more targeted approach if you only need the certificate for the gcloud utility.

Option 3: Specifying the CA root certificate in Python code

If you want to specify the CA root certificate within your Python code, you can use the `ssl` module to configure the SSL context. This allows you to programmatically set the CA root certificate for specific connections. Here’s an example:


import ssl

# Path to the CA root certificate file
ca_cert_path = "/path/to/ca_cert.crt"

# Create an SSL context
context = ssl.create_default_context(cafile=ca_cert_path)

# Use the SSL context for your connections
# Example: connecting to an HTTPS server
import urllib.request
response = urllib.request.urlopen("https://example.com", context=context)

This solution allows you to control the CA root certificate on a per-connection basis within your Python code. It provides the most flexibility but requires manual configuration for each connection that needs the custom CA root certificate.

After exploring these three options, the best choice depends on your specific use case. If you need the CA root certificate for multiple applications or system-wide, option 1 is the most suitable. If you only require it for the gcloud utility, option 2 provides a targeted approach. Finally, if you want fine-grained control within your Python code, option 3 is the way to go.

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5 Responses

    1. I totally disagree. Option 2 is just plain lazy. Taking the easy way out wont lead to any real progress or growth. Step up, embrace the challenge, and go for option 1. It might be harder, but its worth it in the end.

  1. Option 2 seems like the easiest way to go. Why complicate things with system trust stores or Python code? Just my two cents.

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