Resolving PKIX path building failed Error?


Edit :- Tried to format the question and accepted answer in more presentable way at mine Blog

Here is the original issue.

I am getting this error:

detailed message PKIX path building failed: unable to find valid certification path to requested target

cause PKIX path building failed: unable to find valid certification path to requested target

I am using Tomcat 6 as webserver. I have two HTTPS web applications installed on different Tomcats on different ports but on the same machine. Say App1(port 8443) and App2(port 443). App1 connects to App2. When App1 connects to App2 I get the above error. I know this is a very common error so came across many solutions on different forums and sites. I have the below entry in server.xml of both Tomcats:


Every site says the same reason that certificate given by app2 is not in the trusted store of app1 jvm. This seems to be true also when I tried to hit the same URL in IE browser, it works (with warming, There is a problem with this web site's security certificate. Here I say continue to this website). But when same URL is hit by Java client (in my case) I get the above error. So to put it in the truststore I tried these three options:


System.setProperty("", "C:/.keystore");
System.setProperty("", "changeit");

Option2 Setting below in environment variable

CATALINA_OPTS -- param name\.keystore ---param value

Option3 Setting below in environment variable

JAVA_OPTS -- param name\.keystore ---param value

But nothing worked .

What at last worked is executing the Java approach suggested in How to handle invalid SSL certificates with Apache HttpClient? by Pascal Thivent i.e. executing the program InstallCert.

But this approach is fine for devbox setup but I can not use it at production environment.

I am wondering why three approaches mentioned above did not work when I have mentioned the same values in server.xml of app2 server and same values in truststore by setting

System.setProperty("", "C:/.keystore") and System.setProperty("", "changeit");

in app1 program.

For more information this is how I am making the connection:

URL url = new URL(urlStr);

URLConnection conn = url.openConnection();

if (conn instanceof HttpsURLConnection) {

  HttpsURLConnection conn1 = (HttpsURLConnection) url.openConnection();

  conn1.setHostnameVerifier(new HostnameVerifier() {
    public boolean verify(String hostname, SSLSession session) {
      return true;

2/18/2019 7:49:54 PM

Accepted Answer

You need to add the certificate for App2 to the truststore file of the used JVM located at %JAVA_HOME%\lib\security\cacerts.

First you can check if your certificate is already in the truststore by running the following command: keytool -list -keystore "%JAVA_HOME%/jre/lib/security/cacerts" (you don't need to provide a password)

If your certificate is missing, you can get it by downloading it with your browser and add it to the truststore with the following command:

keytool -import -noprompt -trustcacerts -alias <AliasName> -file <certificate> -keystore <KeystoreFile> -storepass <Password>

After import you can run the first command again to check if your certificate was added.

Sun/Oracle information can be found here.

2/18/2019 7:45:14 PM PKIX path building failed: unable to find valid certification path to requested target

• When I got the error, I tried to Google out the meaning of the expression and I found, this issue occurs when a server changes their HTTPS SSL certificate, and our older version of java doesn’t recognize the root certificate authority (CA).

• If you can access the HTTPS URL in your browser then it is possible to update Java to recognize the root CA.

• In your browser, go to the HTTPS URL that Java could not access. Click on the HTTPS certificate chain (there is lock icon in the Internet Explorer), click on the lock to view the certificate.

• Go to “Details” of the certificate and “Copy to file”. Copy it in Base64 (.cer) format. It will be saved on your Desktop.

• Install the certificate ignoring all the alerts.

• This is how I gathered the certificate information of the URL that I was trying to access.

Now I had to make my java version to know about the certificate so that further it doesn’t refuse to recognize the URL. In this respect I must mention that I googled out that root certificate information stays by default in JDK’s \jre\lib\security location, and the default password to access is: changeit.

To view the cacerts information the following are the procedures to follow:

• Click on Start Button-->Run

• Type cmd. The command prompt opens (you may need to open it as administrator).

• Go to your Java/jreX/bin directory

• Type the following

keytool -list -keystore D:\Java\jdk1.5.0_12\jre\lib\security\cacerts

It gives the list of the current certificates contained within the keystore. It looks something like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\NeelanjanaG>keytool -list -keystore D:\Java\jdk1.5.0_12\jre\lib\security\cacerts

Enter keystore password: changeit

Keystore type: jks

Keystore provider: SUN

Your keystore contains 44 entries

verisignclass3g2ca, Mar 26, 2004, trustedCertEntry,

Certificate fingerprint (MD5): A2:33:9B:4C:74:78:73:D4:6C:E7:C1:F3:8D:CB:5C:E9

entrustclientca, Jan 9, 2003, trustedCertEntry,

Certificate fingerprint (MD5): 0C:41:2F:13:5B:A0:54:F5:96:66:2D:7E:CD:0E:03:F4

thawtepersonalbasicca, Feb 13, 1999, trustedCertEntry,

Certificate fingerprint (MD5): E6:0B:D2:C9:CA:2D:88:DB:1A:71:0E:4B:78:EB:02:41

addtrustclass1ca, May 1, 2006, trustedCertEntry,

Certificate fingerprint (MD5): 1E:42:95:02:33:92:6B:B9:5F:C0:7F:DA:D6:B2:4B:FC

verisignclass2g3ca, Mar 26, 2004, trustedCertEntry,

Certificate fingerprint (MD5): F8:BE:C4:63:22:C9:A8:46:74:8B:B8:1D:1E:4A:2B:F6

• Now I had to include the previously installed certificate into the cacerts.

• For this the following is the procedure:

keytool –import –noprompt –trustcacerts –alias ALIASNAME -file FILENAME_OF_THE_INSTALLED_CERTIFICATE -keystore PATH_TO_CACERTS_FILE -storepass PASSWORD

If you are using Java 7:

keytool –importcert –trustcacerts –alias ALIASNAME -file PATH_TO_FILENAME_OF_THE_INSTALLED_CERTIFICATE -keystore PATH_TO_CACERTS_FILE -storepass changeit

• It will then add the certificate information into the cacert file.

It is the solution I found for the Exception mentioned above!!


How to work-it in Tomcat 7

I wanted to support a self signed certificate in a Tomcat App but the following snippet failed to work


public class HTTPSPlayground {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

        URL url = new URL("https:// ... .com");
        HttpURLConnection httpURLConnection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();

        httpURLConnection.setRequestProperty("Accept-Language", "en-US,en;q=0.5");
        DataOutputStream wr = new DataOutputStream(httpURLConnection.getOutputStream());

        String serializedMessage = "{}";

        int responseCode = httpURLConnection.getResponseCode();

this is what solved my issue:

1) Download the .crt file

echo -n | openssl s_client -connect <your domain>:443 | sed -ne '/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p' > ~/<your domain>.crt
  • replace <your domain> with your domain (e.g.

2) Apply the .crt file in Java's cacerts certificate store

keytool -import -v -trustcacerts -alias <your domain> -file ~/<your domain>.crt -keystore <JAVA HOME>/jre/lib/security/cacerts -keypass changeit -storepass changeit
  • replace <your domain> with your domain (e.g.
  • replace <JAVA HOME> with your java home directory

3) Hack it

Even though iv'e installed my certificate in Java's default certificate stores, Tomcat ignores that (seems like it's not configured to use Java's default certificate stores).

To hack this, add the following somewhere in your code:

String certificatesTrustStorePath = "<JAVA HOME>/jre/lib/security/cacerts";
System.setProperty("", certificatesTrustStorePath);

// ...

In my case the issue was that the webserver was only sending the certificate and the intermediate CA, not the root CA. Adding this JVM option solved the problem:

Support for the caIssuers access method of the Authority Information Access extension is available. It is disabled by default for compatibility and can be enabled by setting the system property to the value true.

If set to true, Sun's PKIX implementation of CertPathBuilder uses the information in a certificate's AIA extension (in addition to CertStores that are specified) to find the issuing CA certificate, provided it is a URI of type ldap, http, or ftp.



Another reason could be an outdated version of JDK. I was using jdk version 1.8.0_60, simply updating to the latest version solved the certificate issue.


I was using jdk1.8.0_171 when I faced the same issue. I tried top 2 solutions here (adding a certificate using keytool and another solution which has a hack in it) but they didn't work for me.

I upgraded my JDK to 1.8.0_181 and it worked like a charm.


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