How to Install the latest OpenSSL version from Source on Linux

OpenSSL is a widely used crypto library that implements SSL and TLS protocols for secure communication over computer networks. OpenSSL is used by many programs like Apache Web server, PHP, Postfix and many others. OpenSSL provides support for various cryptographic algorithms such as ciphers (AES, Blowfish, DES, IDEA etc.), cryptographic hash functions (MD5, MD4, SHA-1, SHA-2 etc.) and public key cryptography (RSA, DSA, Diffie-Hellman key exchange).

In this tutorial, I will show you step by step how to install the latest stable OpenSSL version from source on Ubuntu 18.04 and CentOS 7.6 servers.

What we will do?

  1. Install Dependencies
  2. Download OpenSSL Source Code
  3. Install OpenSSL
    1. Compile and Install OpenSSL
    2. Configure Link Libraries
    3. Configure OpenSSL Binary
  4. Testing

Step 1 - Install Dependencies

The first step, before we can compile the OpenSSL library from source, is to install some package dependencies including the 'build-essential' package on Ubuntu, or 'Development Tools' package on CentOS.

On Ubuntu

Update the Ubuntu repository and install package dependencies for software compilation using the apt command below.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential checkinstall zlib1g-dev -y

On CentOS

Install the 'Development Tools' and some packages libraries using the yum command.

yum group install 'Development Tools'
yum install perl-core zlib-devel -y

After the installation is complete, go to the next step.

Step 2 - Download OpenSSL

In this tutorial, we will install the latest stable version of OpenSSL - OpenSSL 1.0.2o. You can download the source code from the OpenSSL site.

Go to the '/usr/local/src' directory and download the OpenSSL source code using wget.

cd /usr/local/src/

Now extract the openssl.tar.gz file, and go to the 'openssl' directory.

tar -xf openssl-1.0.2o.tar.gz
cd openssl-1.0.2o

Download OpenSSL source

The OpenSSL source code has been downloaded.

Step 3 - Install OpenSSL

Before installing the custom OpenSSL version to the system, let's check the installed version using the command below.

openssl version -a

Below is my results on Ubuntu:

Compile OpenSSL on Ubuntu 18.04

And this is on CentOS:

Compile OpenSSL on CentOS 7

We will replace the '1.1.0g' version with the latest stable version 1.0.2o.

We will install the new OpenSSL version to the specific directory '/usr/local/ssl', and then enable the Link Libraries of OpenSSL, and configure the new binary PATH for OpenSSL.

Install and Compile OpenSSL

Go to the openssl downloaded directory '/usr/local/src/openssl'.

cd /usr/local/src/openssl-1.0.2o

Configure and compile OpenSSL with commands below.

./config --prefix=/usr/local/ssl --openssldir=/usr/local/ssl shared zlib

make test

Wait for the OpenSSL compile process.


  • --prefix and --openssldir = Set the output path of the OpenSSL.
  • shared = force to create a shared library.
  • zlib = enable the compression using zlib library.

When the compile process is complete, install the OpenSSL using the command below.

make install

make install

OpenSSL is installed in the '/usr/local/ssl' directory.

Check OpenSSL installation

Next, we will configure the shared libraries for OpenSSL. The new OpenSSL binary will load library files from the '/usr/local/ssl/lib' directory.

Go to the '/etc/' directory and create new configuration file 'openssl-1.0.2o.conf'.

cd /etc/
vim openssl-1.0.2o.conf

Paste the openssl library path directory.


Save and exit.

Now reload the dynamic link using the command below.

sudo ldconfig -v

And you will see the OpenSSL libraries on the '/usr/local/ssl/lib' directory has been loaded.


ldconfig on Ubuntu 18.04


ldconfig on CentOS 7

Configure OpenSSL Binary

We will replace the default openssl binary '/usr/bin/openssl or /bin/openssl' with the new version '/usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl'.

On Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Backup the binary files.

mv /usr/bin/c_rehash /usr/bin/c_rehash.BEKUP
mv /usr/bin/openssl /usr/bin/openssl.BEKUP

Edit the '/etc/environment' file using vim.

vim /etc/environment

Now add the new OpenSSL binary directory as below


Save and exit.

Reload the environment file and test the new updated binary PATH.

source /etc/environment
echo $PATH

Now check again the OpenSSL binary file.

which openssl

You will get the result as below.

Configure OpenSSL Binary on Ubuntu

The binary path of OpenSSL for Ubuntu has been updated.

On CentOS 7.6

Backup the CentOS OpenSSL binary files.

mv /bin/openssl /bin/openssl.BEKUP

Create new environment files for OpenSSL.

vim /etc/profile.d/

Paste configuration below.

export PATH

Save and exit.

Make the file executable.

chmod +x /etc/profile.d/

Load the OpenSSL environment and check the PATH bin directory using commands below.

source /etc/profile.d/
echo $PATH

Now check the OpenSSL file.

which openssl

You will get the result as below.

Configure OpenSSL Binary on CentOS

The binary path for OpenSSL on CentOS has been updated.

Step 4 - Testing

Test the OpenSSL new version using the following command.

openssl version -a

The result on Ubuntu.

Result on CentOS.

The new latest stable version of OpenSSL has been installed from source on Linux Ubuntu 18.04 and CentOS 7.5.


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38 Comment(s)

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By: Udom

Hi, I have upgrade to the latest version but I cannot incorparate this version to Apache. Do you have any suggestion?



By: Alex

What a great article!  Thanks a lot!!!

By: Norbert

Good tutorial, although I preferred to not touch the old binaries, I simply added /usr/local/ssh/bin as the first entry of the $PATH. Note also that the files in /etc/ are parsed in alphabetical order.

By: Sonia

How to give Cross compiler option?


I am trying to cross compile for power pc..using compiler:{CC=ppc4xx-linux-gcc --host=powerpc-linux --target=powerpc-linux --with-yielding_select=no} but make depend/make fails. Anything I can do?

By: Pooch

Thank you for putting this together! I've been struggling with changing OpenSSL versions in Debian for some time now.

One thing I'm still unclear about is why we're using the shared option here when compiling. Is this required or is it simply to provide shared libraries of the correct version of OpenSSL for other applications that need it?

By: Kenny

 Thanks very much. Good documentation and easy to follow.

By: Dennis

To keep the PATH-Setting after reboot:

vim /etc/profile.d/


source /etc/profile.d/


vim /etc/systemd/system/openssl.service











systemctl enable openssl.service

By: Von

Just in case if someone encountered a TAP OUT error. Please install the following

yum install perl-Module-Load-Conditional perl-core

By: Daniel

Excellent Article!! Thank your for sharing :-)

By: Bruno Wego

Thanks a lot!

By: Manuel

Claro y facil. Muy buen trabajo. Gracias


By: Jay

Excellent article

By: Josh

I needed to put 'sudo' before the make directives and then it worked!

By: Evaldo

Thank you!

By: Rob

Hello Muhammad, thanks so much. Your tutorial works perfectly. At first, I thought things were off, because on Ubuntu 'openssl version' gave me a not found response, but after a reboot, everything was well. Thanks again.

By: Rob

By the way, maybe I should clarify I did the upgrade to openssl 1.1.1b.

By: Andrew

Great Article! Worked like a charm, Thanks!

By: Rashmi Sikka

Awesome article, one of the rarest!

By: Majid Zarrin

Grate job!

Thank you so much!!!

By: Reese

Having problems with wget, getting the error message "Unable to locally verfiy the issuer's authority. To connect to insecurely, use '--no-check-certificate'. How do I resove this?

By: Luiz

Me too.

You have a solution ?

By: luis angel

thanks for the information

By: Dee

Good tutorial for the beginners

By: Resilien

easy and clean steps to follow what a article 

By: ByteHerder

cp: `e_os2.h' and `/usr/src/redhat/openssl-1.0.2o/include/openssl/e_os2.h' are the same file

By: Naveen Prashanth

Excellent article 

By: FanBelt32

Thanks for the great working notes.  For Mint 20,  I had to go get Zlib.h & and new GCC to gain stdlib.h .



By: Alok


its very good job.


By: Andres

Did all of this steps and now lost root access on CentOS, anyone through same and knew how to fix it?

By: Rodrigo

Very well done!!! Thanks!!

By: Hein Visser

20210616 Thank you for this exellent guide. It works 100% on a Raspberry Pi 4 with freshly installed latest version of Raspberry Pi OS, uname -a : Linux pi4-6 5.10.17-v7l+ #1421 SMP Thu May 27 14:00:13 BST 2021 armv7l GNU/Linux

By: Jack

I followed these instructions on some redhat servers and it appeared to work great, however, an SA teammate informed me to never use this procedure as it broke the capability to login to the servers via the console. I had yum uninstall openssl and openssl-devel and then linked /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl to /bin/openssl

By: Manraj

Thanks alot

By: Bathulah Mahir

I update OpenSSL to version 1.1.1n, and looks like wget, curl have error after using this guideline upgrade, it shows the errors like 


ERROR: cannot verify's certificate, issued by ‘CN=R3,O=Let's Encrypt,C=US’:

  Unable to locally verify the issuer's authority.

To connect to insecurely, use `--no-check-certificate'.

By: Adam

Thanks! Great article

By: Justin

This was super useful, thank you!!

By: Donna

Thank You. This is very useful.

By: Steven Davies-Morris

Thank you for an extremely clear and easy to follow tutorial.  Got me to openssl 1.1.1q.  Now I can upgrade openSSH.