Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
PKCS12(1)                           OpenSSL                          PKCS12(1)

       pkcs12 - PKCS#12 file utility

       openssl pkcs12 [-export] [-chain] [-inkey filename] [-certfile
       filename] [-name name] [-caname name] [-in filename] [-out filename]
       [-noout] [-nomacver] [-nocerts] [-clcerts] [-cacerts] [-nokeys] [-info]
       [-des] [-des3] [-idea] [-nodes] [-noiter] [-maciter] [-twopass]
       [-descert] [-certpbe] [-keypbe] [-keyex] [-keysig] [-password arg]
       [-passin arg] [-passout arg] [-rand file(s)]

       The pkcs12 command allows PKCS#12 files (sometimes referred to as PFX
       files) to be created and parsed. PKCS#12 files are used by several
       programs including Netscape, MSIE and MS Outlook.

       There are a lot of options the meaning of some depends of whether a
       PKCS#12 file is being created or parsed. By default a PKCS#12 file is
       parsed a PKCS#12 file can be created by using the -export option (see

       -in filename
           This specifies filename of the PKCS#12 file to be parsed. Standard
           input is used by default.

       -out filename
           The filename to write certificates and private keys to, standard
           output by default.  They are all written in PEM format.

       -pass arg, -passin arg
           the PKCS#12 file (i.e. input file) password source. For more
           information about the format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS
           section in openssl(1).

       -passout arg
           pass phrase source to encrypt any outputed private keys with. For
           more information about the format of arg see the PASS PHRASE
           ARGUMENTS section in openssl(1).

           this option inhibits output of the keys and certificates to the
           output file version of the PKCS#12 file.

           only output client certificates (not CA certificates).

           only output CA certificates (not client certificates).

           no certificates at all will be output.

           no private keys will be output.

           output additional information about the PKCS#12 file structure,
           algorithms used and iteration counts.

           use DES to encrypt private keys before outputting.

           use triple DES to encrypt private keys before outputting, this is
           the default.

           use IDEA to encrypt private keys before outputting.

           don't encrypt the private keys at all.

           don't attempt to verify the integrity MAC before reading the file.

           prompt for separate integrity and encryption passwords: most
           software always assumes these are the same so this option will
           render such PKCS#12 files unreadable.

           This option specifies that a PKCS#12 file will be created rather
           than parsed.

       -out filename
           This specifies filename to write the PKCS#12 file to. Standard
           output is used by default.

       -in filename
           The filename to read certificates and private keys from, standard
           input by default.  They must all be in PEM format. The order
           doesn't matter but one private key and its corresponding
           certificate should be present. If additional certificates are
           present they will also be included in the PKCS#12 file.

       -inkey filename
           file to read private key from. If not present then a private key
           must be present in the input file.

       -name friendlyname
           This specifies the "friendly name" for the certificate and private
           key. This name is typically displayed in list boxes by software
           importing the file.

       -certfile filename
           A filename to read additional certificates from.

       -caname friendlyname
           This specifies the "friendly name" for other certificates. This
           option may be used multiple times to specify names for all
           certificates in the order they appear. Netscape ignores friendly
           names on other certificates whereas MSIE displays them.

       -pass arg, -passout arg
           the PKCS#12 file (i.e. output file) password source. For more
           information about the format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS
           section in openssl(1).

       -passin password
           pass phrase source to decrypt any input private keys with. For more
           information about the format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS
           section in openssl(1).

           if this option is present then an attempt is made to include the
           entire certificate chain of the user certificate. The standard CA
           store is used for this search. If the search fails it is considered
           a fatal error.

           encrypt the certificate using triple DES, this may render the
           PKCS#12 file unreadable by some "export grade" software. By default
           the private key is encrypted using triple DES and the certificate
           using 40 bit RC2.

       -keypbe alg, -certpbe alg
           these options allow the algorithm used to encrypt the private key
           and certificates to be selected. Although any PKCS#5 v1.5 or
           PKCS#12 algorithms can be selected it is advisable only to use
           PKCS#12 algorithms. See the list in the NOTES section for more

           specifies that the private key is to be used for key exchange or
           just signing.  This option is only interpreted by MSIE and similar
           MS software. Normally "export grade" software will only allow 512
           bit RSA keys to be used for encryption purposes but arbitrary
           length keys for signing. The -keysig option marks the key for
           signing only. Signing only keys can be used for S/MIME signing,
           authenticode (ActiveX control signing)  and SSL client
           authentication, however due to a bug only MSIE 5.0 and later
           support the use of signing only keys for SSL client authentication.

       -nomaciter, -noiter
           these options affect the iteration counts on the MAC and key
           algorithms.  Unless you wish to produce files compatible with MSIE
           4.0 you should leave these options alone.

           To discourage attacks by using large dictionaries of common
           passwords the algorithm that derives keys from passwords can have
           an iteration count applied to it: this causes a certain part of the
           algorithm to be repeated and slows it down. The MAC is used to
           check the file integrity but since it will normally have the same
           password as the keys and certificates it could also be attacked.
           By default both MAC and encryption iteration counts are set to
           2048, using these options the MAC and encryption iteration counts
           can be set to 1, since this reduces the file security you should
           not use these options unless you really have to. Most software
           supports both MAC and key iteration counts.  MSIE 4.0 doesn't
           support MAC iteration counts so it needs the -nomaciter option.

           This option is included for compatibility with previous versions,
           it used to be needed to use MAC iterations counts but they are now
           used by default.

       -rand file(s)
           a file or files containing random data used to seed the random
           number generator, or an EGD socket (see RAND_egd(3)).  Multiple
           files can be specified separated by a OS-dependent character.  The
           separator is ; for MS-Windows, , for OpenVMS, and : for all others.

       Although there are a large number of options most of them are very
       rarely used. For PKCS#12 file parsing only -in and -out need to be used
       for PKCS#12 file creation -export and -name are also used.

       If none of the -clcerts, -cacerts or -nocerts options are present then
       all certificates will be output in the order they appear in the input
       PKCS#12 files. There is no guarantee that the first certificate present
       is the one corresponding to the private key. Certain software which
       requires a private key and certificate and assumes the first
       certificate in the file is the one corresponding to the private key:
       this may not always be the case. Using the -clcerts option will solve
       this problem by only outputting the certificate corresponding to the
       private key. If the CA certificates are required then they can be
       output to a separate file using the -nokeys -cacerts options to just
       output CA certificates.

       The -keypbe and -certpbe algorithms allow the precise encryption
       algorithms for private keys and certificates to be specified. Normally
       the defaults are fine but occasionally software can't handle triple DES
       encrypted private keys, then the option -keypbe PBE-SHA1-RC2-40 can be
       used to reduce the private key encryption to 40 bit RC2. A complete
       description of all algorithms is contained in the pkcs8 manual page.

       Parse a PKCS#12 file and output it to a file:

        openssl pkcs12 -in file.p12 -out file.pem

       Output only client certificates to a file:

        openssl pkcs12 -in file.p12 -clcerts -out file.pem

       Don't encrypt the private key:

        openssl pkcs12 -in file.p12 -out file.pem -nodes

       Print some info about a PKCS#12 file:

        openssl pkcs12 -in file.p12 -info -noout

       Create a PKCS#12 file:

        openssl pkcs12 -export -in file.pem -out file.p12 -name "My Certificate"

       Include some extra certificates:

        openssl pkcs12 -export -in file.pem -out file.p12 -name "My Certificate" \
         -certfile othercerts.pem

       Some would argue that the PKCS#12 standard is one big bug :-)

       Versions of OpenSSL before 0.9.6a had a bug in the PKCS#12 key
       generation routines. Under rare circumstances this could produce a
       PKCS#12 file encrypted with an invalid key. As a result some PKCS#12
       files which triggered this bug from other implementations (MSIE or
       Netscape) could not be decrypted by OpenSSL and similarly OpenSSL could
       produce PKCS#12 files which could not be decrypted by other
       implementations. The chances of producing such a file are relatively
       small: less than 1 in 256.

       A side effect of fixing this bug is that any old invalidly encrypted
       PKCS#12 files cannot no longer be parsed by the fixed version. Under
       such circumstances the pkcs12 utility will report that the MAC is OK
       but fail with a decryption error when extracting private keys.

       This problem can be resolved by extracting the private keys and
       certificates from the PKCS#12 file using an older version of OpenSSL
       and recreating the PKCS#12 file from the keys and certificates using a
       newer version of OpenSSL. For example:

        old-openssl -in bad.p12 -out keycerts.pem
        openssl -in keycerts.pem -export -name "My PKCS#12 file" -out fixed.p12


0.9.8y                            2013-02-05                         PKCS12(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help