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OpenSSL Commands

General OpenSSL Commands

These commands allow you to generate CSRs, Certificates, Private Keys and do other miscellaneous tasks.

    Generate a new private key and Certificate Signing Request

    openssl req -out CSR.csr -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout privateKey.key

    Generate a self-signed certificate (see How to Create and Install an Apache Self Signed Certificate for more info)

    openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout privateKey.key -out certificate.crt

    Generate a certificate signing request (CSR) for an existing private key

    openssl req -out CSR.csr -key privateKey.key -new

    Generate a certificate signing request based on an existing certificate

    openssl x509 -x509toreq -in certificate.crt -out CSR.csr -signkey privateKey.key

    Remove a passphrase from a private key

    openssl rsa -in privateKey.pem -out newPrivateKey.pem

Checking Using OpenSSL

If you need to check the information within a Certificate, CSR or Private Key, use these commands.

You can also check CSRs and check certificates using our online tools.

Check a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

  openssl req -text -noout -verify -in CSR.csr

 Check a private key

openssl rsa -in privateKey.key -check

Check a certificate

openssl x509 -in certificate.crt -text -noout

Check a PKCS#12 file (.pfx or .p12)

openssl pkcs12 -info -in keyStore.p12

Debugging Using OpenSSL

If you are receiving an error that the private doesn’t match the certificate or that a certificate that you installed to a site is not trusted, try one of these commands. If you are trying to verify that an SSL certificate is installed correctly, be sure to check out the SSL Checker.

Check an MD5 hash of the public key to ensure that it matches with what is in a CSR or private key

openssl x509 -noout -modulus -in certificate.crt | openssl md5
openssl rsa -noout -modulus -in privateKey.key | openssl md5
openssl req -noout -modulus -in CSR.csr | openssl md5

Check an SSL connection. All the certificates (including Intermediates) should be displayed

openssl s_client -connect www.paypal.com:443

Converting Using OpenSSL

These commands allow you to convert certificates and keys to different formats to make them compatible with specific types of servers or software.

For example, you can convert a normal PEM file that would work with Apache to a PFX (PKCS#12) file and use it with Tomcat or IIS. Use our SSL Converter to convert certificates without messing with OpenSSL.

Convert a DER file (.crt .cer .der) to PEM

openssl x509 -inform der -in certificate.cer -out certificate.pem

Convert a PEM file to DER

openssl x509 -outform der -in certificate.pem -out certificate.der

Convert a PKCS#12 file (.pfx .p12) containing a private key and certificates to PEM

openssl pkcs12 -in keyStore.pfx -out keyStore.pem -nodes

You can add -nocerts to only output the private key or add -nokeys to only output the certificates.

Convert a PEM certificate file and a private key to PKCS#12 (.pfx .p12)

openssl pkcs12 -export -out certificate.pfx -inkey privateKey.key -in certificate.crt -certfile CACert.crt

The following commands allow you to generate CSRs, Certificates, Private Keys and other tasks.

Generate a new private key and matching certificate signing request (Unix)

openssl req -out CSR.csr -pubkey -new -keyout privateKey.key

Generate a new private key and matching certificate signing request (Windows)

openssl req -out CSR.csr -pubkey -new -keyout privateKey.key -config .\share\openssl.cmf

Generate a certificate signing request for an existing private key

openssl req -out CSR.csr -key privateKey.key -new

Generate a certificate signing request based on an existing x509 certificate

openssl x509 -x509toreq -in MYCRT.crt -out CSR.csr -signkey privateKey.key

Decrypt private key

openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout privateKey.key -out certificate.crt

Remove a passphrase from a private key

openssl rsa -in privateKey.pem -out newPrivateKey.pem

Checking commands

Use the following commands to check the information within a Certificate, CSR or Private Key. You can also check CSRs and certificates using our online tools.

Check a certificate signing request

openssl req -text -noout -verify -in CSR.csr

Check a private key

openssl rsa -in privateKey.key -check

Check a certificate

openssl x509 -in certificate.crt -text -noout

Check a PKCS#12 keystore

openssl pkcs12 -info -in keyStore.p12

Debugging commands

If you are receiving certificate errors, try one of the following commands to debug a SSL connection. Use our Site Check as well to check the certificate.

Check the MD5 hash of the public key

openssl x509 -noout -modulus -in certificate.crt | openssl md5
openssl rsa -noout -modulus -in privateKey.key | openssl md5
openssl req -noout -modulus -in CSR.csr | openssl md5

Check an SSL connection. All certificates (also intermediates) should be shown

openssl s_client -connect https://www.paypal.com:443

Converting commands

Use the following commands to convert certificates and keys to different formats to make them compatible with specific types of servers or software. For example, convert a normal PEM file that would work with Apache to a PFX (PKCS#12) file for use with Tomcat or IIS.

Convert DER (.crt .cer .der) to PEM

openssl x509 -inform der -in certificate.cer -out certificate.pem

Convert PEM to DER

openssl x509 -outform der -in certificate.pem -out certificate.der

Convert PKCS#12 (.pfx .p12) to PEM containing both private key and certificates

openssl pkcs12 -in keyStore.pfx -out keyStore.pem -nodes
    add -nocerts for private key only; add -nokeys for certificates only

Convert (add) a seperate key and certificate to a new keystore of type PKCS#12

openssl pkcs12 -export -out certificate.pfx -inkey privateKey.key -in certificate.crt -certfile CACert.crt

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