how do i build a openssl-devel package from source?

First of all, I hope it is obvious that you can not / should not be reusing the same package names when attempting to build packages for a newer major OpenSSL version than the one used across CentOS 6. If you do that you will likely break the operating system because anything that relies on OpenSSL will likely fail due to missing/deprecated functions in the newer library compared to OpenSSL 1.0.x which the CentOS 6 programs are linked/compiled with.

What you should be doing is similar to what EPEL did for CentOS 7: create a package openssl11 (and subsequently, e.g. openssl11-devel, etc.) which ships the newer library under a different name.

Then any app that is meant to be rebuilt with newer OpenSSL in mind, should “link” (aka BuildRequires: against openssl11-devel.

So what you’re after is:

  • fetch .src.rpm for openssl11 of EL7, e.g. here
  • rebuild it for EL6: as a bare minimum you would need to disable some patches which assume newer glibc and fix an issue related to stripping binaries
  • build any packages you want to compile against OpenSSL 1.1.1 with BuildRequires: openssl11-devel package

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