Cryptography and SSL/TLS Toolkit

NAME - friendlier interface for OpenSSL certificate programs

SYNOPSIS -? | -h | -help -newcert | -newreq | -newreq-nodes | -xsign | -sign | -signCA | -signcert | -crl | -newca [-extra-cmd extra-params] -pkcs12 [-extra-pkcs12 extra-params] [certname] -verify [-extra-verify extra-params] certfile ... -revoke [-extra-ca extra-params] certfile [reason]


The script is a perl script that supplies the relevant command line arguments to the openssl(1) command for some common certificate operations. It is intended to simplify the process of certificate creation and management by the use of some simple options.


?, -h, -help

Prints a usage message.


Creates a new self signed certificate. The private key is written to the file newkey.pem and the request written to the file newreq.pem. Invokes openssl-req(1).


Creates a new certificate request. The private key is written to the file newkey.pem and the request written to the file newreq.pem. Executes openssl-req(1) under the hood.


Is like -newreq except that the private key will not be encrypted. Uses openssl-req(1).


Creates a new CA hierarchy for use with the ca program (or the -signcert and -xsign options). The user is prompted to enter the filename of the CA certificates (which should also contain the private key) or by hitting ENTER details of the CA will be prompted for. The relevant files and directories are created in a directory called demoCA in the current directory. Uses openssl-req(1) and openssl-ca(1).


Create a PKCS#12 file containing the user certificate, private key and CA certificate. It expects the user certificate and private key to be in the file newcert.pem and the CA certificate to be in the file demoCA/cacert.pem, it creates a file newcert.p12. This command can thus be called after the -sign option. The PKCS#12 file can be imported directly into a browser. If there is an additional argument on the command line it will be used as the "friendly name" for the certificate (which is typically displayed in the browser list box), otherwise the name "My Certificate" is used. Delegates work to openssl-pkcs12(1).

-sign, -signcert, -xsign

Calls the openssl-ca(1) command to sign a certificate request. It expects the request to be in the file newreq.pem. The new certificate is written to the file newcert.pem except in the case of the -xsign option when it is written to standard output.


This option is the same as the -signreq option except it uses the configuration file section v3_ca and so makes the signed request a valid CA certificate. This is useful when creating intermediate CA from a root CA. Extra params are passed to openssl-ca(1).


This option is the same as -sign except it expects a self signed certificate to be present in the file newreq.pem. Extra params are passed to openssl-x509(1) and openssl-ca(1).


Generate a CRL. Executes openssl-ca(1).

-revoke certfile [reason]

Revoke the certificate contained in the specified certfile. An optional reason may be specified, and must be one of: unspecified, keyCompromise, CACompromise, affiliationChanged, superseded, cessationOfOperation, certificateHold, or removeFromCRL. Leverages openssl-ca(1).


Verifies certificates against the CA certificate for demoCA. If no certificates are specified on the command line it tries to verify the file newcert.pem. Invokes openssl-verify(1).

-extra-req | -extra-ca | -extra-pkcs12 | -extra-x509 | -extra-verify extra-params

For each option extra-cmd, pass extra-params to the openssl(1) sub-command with the same name as cmd, if that sub-command is invoked. For example, if openssl-req(1) is invoked, the extra-params given with -extra-req will be passed to it. Users should consult openssl(1) command documentation for more information.


Create a CA hierarchy: -newca

Complete certificate creation example: create a CA, create a request, sign the request and finally create a PKCS#12 file containing it. -newca -newreq -signreq -pkcs12 "My Test Certificate"


Although the creates RSA CAs and requests it is still possible to use it with DSA certificates and requests using the openssl-req(1) command directly. The following example shows the steps that would typically be taken.

Create some DSA parameters:

 openssl dsaparam -out dsap.pem 1024

Create a DSA CA certificate and private key:

 openssl req -x509 -newkey dsa:dsap.pem -keyout cacert.pem -out cacert.pem

Create the CA directories and files: -newca

enter a filename (for example, cacert.pem) when prompted for the CA file name.

Create a DSA certificate request and private key (a different set of parameters can optionally be created first):

 openssl req -out newreq.pem -newkey dsa:dsap.pem

Sign the request: -signreq


Most of the filenames mentioned can be modified by editing the script.

If the demoCA directory already exists then the -newca command will not overwrite it and will do nothing. This can happen if a previous call using the -newca option terminated abnormally. To get the correct behaviour delete the demoCA directory if it already exists.

Under some environments it may not be possible to run the script directly (for example Win32) and the default configuration file location may be wrong. In this case the command:

 perl -S

can be used and the OPENSSL_CONF environment variable changed to point to the correct path of the configuration file.

The script is intended as a simple front end for the openssl(1) program for use by a beginner. Its behaviour isn't always what is wanted. For more control over the behaviour of the certificate commands call the openssl(1) command directly.


openssl(1), openssl-x509(1), openssl-ca(1), openssl-req(1), openssl-pkcs12(1), config(5)

Copyright 2000-2017 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License 2.0 (the "License"). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You can obtain a copy in the file LICENSE in the source distribution or at