NSS tools : pk12util

Name

pk12util — Export and import keys and certificate to or from a PKCS #12
file and the NSS database

Synopsis

pk12util [-i p12File [-h tokenname] [-v] [common-options] ] [ -l p12File
[-h tokenname] [-r] [common-options] ] [ -o p12File -n certname [-c
keyCipher] [-C certCipher] [-m|--key_len keyLen] [-n|--cert_key_len
certKeyLen] [common-options] ] [ common-options are: [-d [sql:]directory]
[-P dbprefix] [-k slotPasswordFile|-K slotPassword] [-w
p12filePasswordFile|-W p12filePassword] ]

Description

The PKCS #12 utility, pk12util, enables sharing certificates among any
server that supports PKCS#12. The tool can import certificates and keys
from PKCS#12 files into security databases, export certificates, and list
certificates and keys.

Options and Arguments

Options

-i p12file

Import keys and certificates from a PKCS#12 file into a security
database.

-l p12file

List the keys and certificates in PKCS#12 file.

-o p12file

Export keys and certificates from the security database to a
PKCS#12 file.

Arguments

-n certname

Specify the nickname of the cert and private key to export.

-d [sql:]directory

Specify the database directory into which to import to or export
from certificates and keys.

pk12util supports two types of databases: the legacy security
databases (cert8.db, key3.db, and secmod.db) and new SQLite
databases (cert9.db, key4.db, and pkcs11.txt). If the prefix sql:
is not used, then the tool assumes that the given databases are in
the old format.

-P prefix

Specify the prefix used on the certificate and key databases. This
option is provided as a special case. Changing the names of the
certificate and key databases is not recommended.

-h tokenname

Specify the name of the token to import into or export from.

-v

Enable debug logging when importing.

-k slotPasswordFile

Specify the text file containing the slot's password.

-K slotPassword

Specify the slot's password.

-w p12filePasswordFile

Specify the text file containing the pkcs #12 file password.

-W p12filePassword

Specify the pkcs #12 file password.

-c keyCipher

Specify the key encryption algorithm.

-C certCipher

Specify the key cert (overall package) encryption algorithm.

-m | --key-len keyLength

Specify the desired length of the symmetric key to be used to
encrypt the private key.

-n | --cert-key-len certKeyLength

Specify the desired length of the symmetric key to be used to
encrypt the certificates and other meta-data.

-r

Dumps all of the data in raw (binary) form. This must be saved as
a DER file. The default is to return information in a pretty-print
ASCII format, which displays the information about the
certificates and public keys in the p12 file.

Return Codes

o 0 - No error

o 1 - User Cancelled

o 2 - Usage error

o 6 - NLS init error

o 8 - Certificate DB open error

o 9 - Key DB open error

o 10 - File initialization error

o 11 - Unicode conversion error

o 12 - Temporary file creation error

o 13 - PKCS11 get slot error

o 14 - PKCS12 decoder start error

o 15 - error read from import file

o 16 - pkcs12 decode error

o 17 - pkcs12 decoder verify error

o 18 - pkcs12 decoder validate bags error

o 19 - pkcs12 decoder import bags error

o 20 - key db conversion version 3 to version 2 error

o 21 - cert db conversion version 7 to version 5 error

o 22 - cert and key dbs patch error

o 23 - get default cert db error

o 24 - find cert by nickname error

o 25 - create export context error

o 26 - PKCS12 add password itegrity error

o 27 - cert and key Safes creation error

o 28 - PKCS12 add cert and key error

o 29 - PKCS12 encode error

Examples

Importing Keys and Certificates

The most basic usage of pk12util for importing a certificate or key is the
PKCS#12 input file (-i) and some way to specify the security database
being accessed (either -d for a directory or -h for a token).

pk12util -i p12File [-h tokenname] [-v] [-d [sql:]directory] [-P dbprefix] [-k slotPasswordFile|-K slotPassword] [-w p12filePasswordFile|-W p12filePassword]

For example:

# pk12util -i /tmp/cert-files/users.p12 -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb

Enter a password which will be used to encrypt your keys.
The password should be at least 8 characters long,
and should contain at least one non-alphabetic character.

Enter new password:
Re-enter password:
Enter password for PKCS12 file:
pk12util: PKCS12 IMPORT SUCCESSFUL

Exporting Keys and Certificates

Using the pk12util command to export certificates and keys requires both
the name of the certificate to extract from the database (-n) and the
PKCS#12-formatted output file to write to. There are optional parameters
that can be used to encrypt the file to protect the certificate material.

pk12util -o p12File -n certname [-c keyCipher] [-C certCipher] [-m|--key_len keyLen] [-n|--cert_key_len certKeyLen] [-d [sql:]directory] [-P dbprefix] [-k slotPasswordFile|-K slotPassword] [-w p12filePasswordFile|-W p12filePassword]

For example:

# pk12util -o certs.p12 -n Server-Cert -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
Enter password for PKCS12 file:
Re-enter password:

Listing Keys and Certificates

The information in a .p12 file are not human-readable. The certificates
and keys in the file can be printed (listed) in a human-readable
pretty-print format that shows information for every certificate and any
public keys in the .p12 file.

pk12util -l p12File [-h tokenname] [-r] [-d [sql:]directory] [-P dbprefix] [-k slotPasswordFile|-K slotPassword] [-w p12filePasswordFile|-W p12filePassword]

For example, this prints the default ASCII output:

# pk12util -l certs.p12

Enter password for PKCS12 file:
Key(shrouded):
Friendly Name: Thawte Freemail Member's Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd. ID

Encryption algorithm: PKCS #12 V2 PBE With SHA-1 And 3KEY Triple DES-CBC
Parameters:
Salt:
45:2e:6a:a0:03:4d:7b:a1:63:3c:15:ea:67:37:62:1f
Iteration Count: 1 (0x1)
Certificate:
Data:
Version: 3 (0x2)
Serial Number: 13 (0xd)
Signature Algorithm: PKCS #1 SHA-1 With RSA Encryption
Issuer: "E=personal-freemail@thawte.com,CN=Thawte Personal Freemail C
A,OU=Certification Services Division,O=Thawte Consulting,L=Cape T
own,ST=Western Cape,C=ZA"
....

Alternatively, the -r prints the certificates and then exports them into
separate DER binary files. This allows the certificates to be fed to
another application that supports .p12 files. Each certificate is written
to a sequentially-number file, beginning with file0001.der and continuing
through file000N.der, incrementing the number for every certificate:

# pk12util -l test.p12 -r
Enter password for PKCS12 file:
Key(shrouded):
Friendly Name: Thawte Freemail Member's Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd. ID

Encryption algorithm: PKCS #12 V2 PBE With SHA-1 And 3KEY Triple DES-CBC
Parameters:
Salt:
45:2e:6a:a0:03:4d:7b:a1:63:3c:15:ea:67:37:62:1f
Iteration Count: 1 (0x1)
Certificate Friendly Name: Thawte Personal Freemail Issuing CA - Thawte Consulting

Certificate Friendly Name: Thawte Freemail Member's Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd. ID

Password Encryption

PKCS#12 provides for not only the protection of the private keys but also
the certificate and meta-data associated with the keys. Password-based
encryption is used to protect private keys on export to a PKCS#12 file
and, optionally, the entire package. If no algorithm is specified, the
tool defaults to using PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 3KEY Triple DES-cbc for
private key encryption. PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 40 Bit RC4 is the
default for the overall package encryption when not in FIPS mode. When in
FIPS mode, there is no package encryption.

The private key is always protected with strong encryption by default.

Several types of ciphers are supported.

Symmetric CBC ciphers for PKCS#5 V2

DES_CBC

o RC2-CBC

o RC5-CBCPad

o DES-EDE3-CBC (the default for key encryption)

o AES-128-CBC

o AES-192-CBC

o AES-256-CBC

o CAMELLIA-128-CBC

o CAMELLIA-192-CBC

o CAMELLIA-256-CBC

PKCS#12 PBE ciphers

PKCS #12 PBE with Sha1 and 128 Bit RC4

o PKCS #12 PBE with Sha1 and 40 Bit RC4

o PKCS #12 PBE with Sha1 and Triple DES CBC

o PKCS #12 PBE with Sha1 and 128 Bit RC2 CBC

o PKCS #12 PBE with Sha1 and 40 Bit RC2 CBC

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 128 Bit RC4

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 40 Bit RC4 (the default for
non-FIPS mode)

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 3KEY Triple DES-cbc

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 2KEY Triple DES-cbc

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 128 Bit RC2 CBC

o PKCS12 V2 PBE with SHA1 and 40 Bit RC2 CBC

PKCS#5 PBE ciphers

PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with MD2 and DES CBC

o PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with MD5 and DES CBC

o PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with SHA1 and DES CBC

With PKCS#12, the crypto provider may be the soft token module or an
external hardware module. If the cryptographic module does not support the
requested algorithm, then the next best fit will be selected (usually the
default). If no suitable replacement for the desired algorithm can be
found, the tool returns the error no security module can perform the
requested operation.

NSS Database Types

NSS originally used BerkeleyDB databases to store security information.
The last versions of these legacy databases are:

o cert8.db for certificates

o key3.db for keys

o secmod.db for PKCS #11 module information

BerkeleyDB has performance limitations, though, which prevent it from
being easily used by multiple applications simultaneously. NSS has some
flexibility that allows applications to use their own, independent
database engine while keeping a shared database and working around the
access issues. Still, NSS requires more flexibility to provide a truly
shared security database.

In 2009, NSS introduced a new set of databases that are SQLite databases
rather than BerkleyDB. These new databases provide more accessibility and
performance:

o cert9.db for certificates

o key4.db for keys

o pkcs11.txt, which is listing of all of the PKCS #11 modules contained
in a new subdirectory in the security databases directory

Because the SQLite databases are designed to be shared, these are the
shared database type. The shared database type is preferred; the legacy
format is included for backward compatibility.

By default, the tools (certutil, pk12util, modutil) assume that the given
security databases follow the more common legacy type. Using the SQLite
databases must be manually specified by using the sql: prefix with the
given security directory. For example:

# pk12util -i /tmp/cert-files/users.p12 -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb

To set the shared database type as the default type for the tools, set the
NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE environment variable to sql:

export NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE="sql"

This line can be set added to the ~/.bashrc file to make the change
permanent.

Most applications do not use the shared database by default, but they can
be configured to use them. For example, this how-to article covers how to
configure Firefox and Thunderbird to use the new shared NSS databases:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB_Howto

For an engineering draft on the changes in the shared NSS databases, see
the NSS project wiki:

https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB

See Also

certutil (1)

modutil (1)

The NSS wiki has information on the new database design and how to
configure applications to use it.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB_Howto

https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB

Additional Resources

For information about NSS and other tools related to NSS (like JSS), check
out the NSS project wiki at
[1]http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/pki/nss/. The NSS site relates
directly to NSS code changes and releases.

Mailing lists: https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-tech-crypto

IRC: Freenode at #dogtag-pki

Authors

The NSS tools were written and maintained by developers with Netscape, Red
Hat, and Sun.

Authors: Elio Maldonado <emaldona@redhat.com>, Deon Lackey
<dlackey@redhat.com>.

Copyright

(c) 2010, Red Hat, Inc. Licensed under the GNU Public License version 2.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.mozilla.org/projects/security/pki/nss/

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: Sheppy, emaldona@redhat.com
 Last updated by: Sheppy,