certutil

by 2 contributors:

Name

   certutil — Manage keys and certificate in the the NSS database.

Synopsis

   certutil [options] arguments

Description

   The Certificate Database Tool, certutil, is a command-line utility that
   can create and modify certificate and key database files. It can also
   list, generate, modify, or delete certificates within the database, create
   or change the password, generate new public and private key pairs, display
   the contents of the key database, or delete key pairs within the key
   database.

   The key and certificate management process generally begins with creating
   keys in the key database, then generating and managing certificates in the
   certificate database. This document discusses certificate and key database
   management. For information security module database management, see the
   modutil manpages.

Options and Arguments

   Running certutil always requires one (and only one) option to specify the
   type of certificate operation. Each option may take arguments, anywhere
   from none to multiple arguments. Run the command option and -H to see the
   arguments available for each command option.

   Options

   Options specify an action and are uppercase.

   -A

           Add an existing certificate to a certificate database. The
           certificate database should already exist; if one is not present,
           this option will initialize one by default.

   -B

           Run a series of commands from the specified batch file. This
           requires the -i argument.

   -C

           Create a new binary certificate file from a binary certificate
           request file. Use the -i argument to specify the certificate
           request file. If this argument is not used, certutil prompts for a
           filename.

   -D

           Delete a certificate from the certificate database.

   -E

           Add an email certificate to the certificate database.

   -F

           Delete a private key from a key database. Specify the key to
           delete with the -n argument. Specify the database from which to
           delete the key with the -d argument. Use the -k argument to
           specify explicitly whether to delete a DSA, RSA, or ECC key. If
           you don't use the -k argument, the option looks for an RSA key
           matching the specified nickname.

           When you delete keys, be sure to also remove any certificates
           associated with those keys from the certificate database, by using
           -D. Some smart cards (for example, the Litronic card) do not let
           you remove a public key you have generated. In such a case, only
           the private key is deleted from the key pair. You can display the
           public key with the command certutil -K -h tokenname.

   -G

           Generate a new public and private key pair within a key database.
           The key database should already exist; if one is not present, this
           option will initialize one by default. Some smart cards (for
           example, the Litronic card) can store only one key pair. If you
           create a new key pair for such a card, the previous pair is
           overwritten.

   -H

           Display a list of the options and arguments used by the
           Certificate Database Tool.

   -K

           List the key ID of keys in the key database. A key ID is the
           modulus of the RSA key or the publicValue of the DSA key. IDs are
           displayed in hexadecimal ("0x" is not shown).

   -L

           List all the certificates, or display information about a named
           certificate, in a certificate database. Use the -h tokenname
           argument to specify the certificate database on a particular
           hardware or software token.

   -M

           Modify a certificate's trust attributes using the values of the -t
           argument.

   -N

           Create new certificate and key databases.

   -O

           Print the certificate chain.

   -R

           Create a certificate request file that can be submitted to a
           Certificate Authority (CA) for processing into a finished
           certificate. Output defaults to standard out unless you use -o
           output-file argument. Use the -a argument to specify ASCII output.

   -S

           Create an individual certificate and add it to a certificate
           database.

   -T

           Reset the key database or token.

   -U

           List all available modules or print a single named module.

   -V

           Check the validity of a certificate and its attributes.

   -W

           Change the password to a key database.

   --merge

           Merge a source database into the target database. This is used to
           merge legacy NSS databases (cert8.db and key3.db) into the newer
           SQLite databases (cert9.db and key4.db).

   --upgrade-merge

           Upgrade an old database and merge it into a new database. This is
           used to migrate legacy NSS databases (cert8.db and key3.db) into
           the newer SQLite databases (cert9.db and key4.db).

   Arguments

   Option arguments modify an action and are lowercase.

   -a

           Use ASCII format or allow the use of ASCII format for input or
           output. This formatting follows RFC 1113. For certificate
           requests, ASCII output defaults to standard output unless
           redirected.

   -b validity-time

           Specify a time at which a certificate is required to be valid. Use
           when checking certificate validity with the -V option. The format
           of the validity-time argument is YYMMDDHHMMSS[+HHMM|-HHMM|Z],
           which allows offsets to be set relative to the validity end time.
           Specifying seconds (SS) is optional. When specifying an explicit
           time, use a Z at the end of the term, YYMMDDHHMMSSZ, to close it.
           When specifying an offset time, use YYMMDDHHMMSS+HHMM or
           YYMMDDHHMMSS-HHMM for adding or subtracting time, respectively.

           If this option is not used, the validity check defaults to the
           current system time.

   -c issuer

           Identify the certificate of the CA from which a new certificate
           will derive its authenticity. Use the exact nickname or alias of
           the CA certificate, or use the CA's email address. Bracket the
           issuer string with quotation marks if it contains spaces.

   -d [sql:]directory

           Specify the database directory containing the certificate and key
           database files.

           certutil 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.

   -e

           Check a certificate's signature during the process of validating a
           certificate.

   -f password-file

           Specify a file that will automatically supply the password to
           include in a certificate or to access a certificate database. This
           is a plain-text file containing one password. Be sure to prevent
           unauthorized access to this file.

   -g keysize

           Set a key size to use when generating new public and private key
           pairs. The minimum is 512 bits and the maximum is 8192 bits. The
           default is 1024 bits. Any size between the minimum and maximum is
           allowed.

   -h tokenname

           Specify the name of a token to use or act on. Unless specified
           otherwise the default token is an internal slot (specifically,
           internal slot 2). This slot can also be explicitly named with the
           string "internal". An internal slots is a virtual slot maintained
           in software, rather than a hardware device. Internal slot 2 is
           used by key and certificate services. Internal slot 1 is used by
           cryptographic services.

   -i input_file

           Pass an input file to the command. Depending on the command
           option, an input file can be a specific certificate, a certificate
           request file, or a batch file of commands.

   -k rsa|dsa|ec|all

           Specify the type of a key. The valid options are RSA, DSA, ECC, or
           all. The default value is rsa. Specifying the type of key can
           avoid mistakes caused by duplicate nicknames.

   -k key-type-or-id

           Specify the type or specific ID of a key. Giving a key type
           generates a new key pair; giving the ID of an existing key reuses
           that key pair (which is required to renew certificates).

   -l

           Display detailed information when validating a certificate with
           the -V option.

   -m serial-number

           Assign a unique serial number to a certificate being created. This
           operation should be performed by a CA. The default serial number
           is 0 (zero). Serial numbers are limited to integers.

   -n nickname

           Specify the nickname of a certificate or key to list, create, add
           to a database, modify, or validate. Bracket the nickname string
           with quotation marks if it contains spaces.

   -o output-file

           Specify the output file name for new certificates or binary
           certificate requests. Bracket the output-file string with
           quotation marks if it contains spaces. If this argument is not
           used the output destination defaults to standard output.

   -P dbPrefix

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

   -p phone

           Specify a contact telephone number to include in new certificates
           or certificate requests. Bracket this string with quotation marks
           if it contains spaces.

   -q pqgfile

           Read an alternate PQG value from the specified file when
           generating DSA key pairs. If this argument is not used, certutil
           generates its own PQG value. PQG files are created with a separate
           DSA utility.

   -q curve-name

           Set the elliptic curve name to use when generating ECC key pairs.
           A complete list of ECC curves is given in the help (-H).

   -r

           Display a certificate's binary DER encoding when listing
           information about that certificate with the -L option.

   -s subject

           Identify a particular certificate owner for new certificates or
           certificate requests. Bracket this string with quotation marks if
           it contains spaces. The subject identification format follows RFC
           #1485.

   -t trustargs

           Specify the trust attributes to modify in an existing certificate
           or to apply to a certificate when creating it or adding it to a
           database. There are three available trust categories for each
           certificate, expressed in the order SSL, email, object signing for
           each trust setting. In each category position, use none, any, or
           all of the attribute codes:

              o p - Valid peer

              o P - Trusted peer (implies p)

              o c - Valid CA

              o T - Trusted CA to issue client certificates (implies c)

              o C - Trusted CA to issue server certificates (SSL only)
                (implies c)

              o u - Certificate can be used for authentication or signing

              o w - Send warning (use with other attributes to include a
                warning when the certificate is used in that context)

           The attribute codes for the categories are separated by commas,
           and the entire set of attributes enclosed by quotation marks. For
           example:

           -t "TCu,Cu,Tuw"

           Use the -L option to see a list of the current certificates and
           trust attributes in a certificate database.

   -u certusage

           Specify a usage context to apply when validating a certificate
           with the -V option.

           The contexts are the following:

              o C (as an SSL client)

              o V (as an SSL server)

              o S (as an email signer)

              o R (as an email recipient)

              o O (as an OCSP status responder)

              o J (as an object signer)

   -v valid-months

           Set the number of months a new certificate will be valid. The
           validity period begins at the current system time unless an offset
           is added or subtracted with the -w option. If this argument is not
           used, the default validity period is three months. When this
           argument is used, the default three-month period is automatically
           added to any value given in the valid-month argument. For example,
           using this option to set a value of 3 would cause 3 to be added to
           the three-month default, creating a validity period of six months.
           You can use negative values to reduce the default period. For
           example, setting a value of -2 would subtract 2 from the default
           and create a validity period of one month.

   -w offset-months

           Set an offset from the current system time, in months, for the
           beginning of a certificate's validity period. Use when creating
           the certificate or adding it to a database. Express the offset in
           integers, using a minus sign (-) to indicate a negative offset. If
           this argument is not used, the validity period begins at the
           current system time. The length of the validity period is set with
           the -v argument.

   -X

           Force the key and certificate database to open in read-write mode.
           This is used with the -U and -L command options.

   -x

           Use certutil to generate the signature for a certificate being
           created or added to a database, rather than obtaining a signature
           from a separate CA.

   -y exp

           Set an alternate exponent value to use in generating a new RSA
           public key for the database, instead of the default value of
           65537. The available alternate values are 3 and 17.

   -z noise-file

           Read a seed value from the specified file to generate a new
           private and public key pair. This argument makes it possible to
           use hardware-generated seed values or manually create a value from
           the keyboard. The minimum file size is 20 bytes.

   -0 SSO_password

           Set a site security officer password on a token.

   -1 | --keyUsage keyword,keyword

           Set a Netscape Certificate Type Extension in the certificate.
           There are several available keywords:

              o digital signature

              o nonRepudiation

              o keyEncipherment

              o dataEncipherment

              o keyAgreement

              o certSigning

              o crlSigning

              o critical

   -2

           Add a basic constraint extension to a certificate that is being
           created or added to a database. This extension supports the
           certificate chain verification process. certutil prompts for the
           certificate constraint extension to select.

           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   -3

           Add an authority key ID extension to a certificate that is being
           created or added to a database. This extension supports the
           identification of a particular certificate, from among multiple
           certificates associated with one subject name, as the correct
           issuer of a certificate. The Certificate Database Tool will prompt
           you to select the authority key ID extension.

           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   -4

           Add a CRL distribution point extension to a certificate that is
           being created or added to a database. This extension identifies
           the URL of a certificate's associated certificate revocation list
           (CRL). certutil prompts for the URL.

           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   -5 | --nsCertType keyword,keyword

           Add a Netscape certificate type extension to a certificate that is
           being created or added to the database. There are several
           available keywords:

              o sslClient

              o sslServer

              o smime

              o objectSigning

              o sslCA

              o smimeCA

              o objectSigningCA

              o critical

           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   -6 | --extKeyUsage keyword,keyword

           Add an extended key usage extension to a certificate that is being
           created or added to the database. Several keywords are available:

              o serverAuth

              o clientAuth

              o codeSigning

              o emailProtection

              o timeStamp

              o ocspResponder

              o stepUp

              o critical

           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   -7 emailAddrs

           Add a comma-separated list of email addresses to the subject
           alternative name extension of a certificate or certificate request
           that is being created or added to the database. Subject
           alternative name extensions are described in Section 4.2.1.7 of
           RFC 3280.

   -8 dns-names

           Add a comma-separated list of DNS names to the subject alternative
           name extension of a certificate or certificate request that is
           being created or added to the database. Subject alternative name
           extensions are described in Section 4.2.1.7 of RFC 3280.

   --extAIA

           Add the Authority Information Access extension to the certificate.
           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extSIA

           Add the Subject Information Access extension to the certificate.
           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extCP

           Add the Certificate Policies extension to the certificate. X.509
           certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extPM

           Add the Policy Mappings extension to the certificate. X.509
           certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extPC

           Add the Policy Constraints extension to the certificate. X.509
           certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extIA

           Add the Inhibit Any Policy Access extension to the certificate.
           X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --extSKID

           Add the Subject Key ID extension to the certificate. X.509
           certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.

   --source-dir certdir

           Identify the certificate database directory to upgrade.

   --source-prefix certdir

           Give the prefix of the certificate and key databases to upgrade.

   --upgrade-id uniqueID

           Give the unique ID of the database to upgrade.

   --upgrade-token-name name

           Set the name of the token to use while it is being upgraded.

   -@ pwfile

           Give the name of a password file to use for the database being
           upgraded.

Usage and Examples

   Most of the command options in the examples listed here have more
   arguments available. The arguments included in these examples are the most
   common ones or are used to illustrate a specific scenario. Use the -H
   option to show the complete list of arguments for each command option.

   Creating New Security Databases

   Certificates, keys, and security modules related to managing certificates
   are stored in three related databases:

     o cert8.db or cert9.db

     o key3.db or key4.db

     o secmod.db or pkcs11.txt

   These databases must be created before certificates or keys can be
   generated.

 certutil -N -d [sql:]directory

   Creating a Certificate Request

   A certificate request contains most or all of the information that is used
   to generate the final certificate. This request is submitted separately to
   a certificate authority and is then approved by some mechanism
   (automatically or by human review). Once the request is approved, then the
   certificate is generated.

 $ certutil -R -k key-type-or-id [-q pqgfile|curve-name] -g key-size -s subject [-h tokenname] -d [sql:]directory [-p phone] [-o output-file] [-a]

   The -R command options requires four arguments:

     o -k to specify either the key type to generate or, when renewing a
       certificate, the existing key pair to use

     o -g to set the keysize of the key to generate

     o -s to set the subject name of the certificate

     o -d to give the security database directory

   The new certificate request can be output in ASCII format (-a) or can be
   written to a specified file (-o).

   For example:

 $ certutil -R -k ec -q nistb409 -g 512 -s "CN=John Smith,O=Example Corp,L=Mountain View,ST=California,C=US" -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -p 650-555-0123 -a -o cert.cer

 Generating key.  This may take a few moments...


 Certificate request generated by Netscape
 Phone: 650-555-0123
 Common Name: John Smith
 Email: (not ed)
 Organization: Example Corp
 State: California
 Country: US

 -----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----
 MIIBIDCBywIBADBmMQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzETMBEGA1UECBMKQ2FsaWZvcm5pYTEW
 MBQGA1UEBxMNTW91bnRhaW4gVmlldzEVMBMGA1UEChMMRXhhbXBsZSBDb3JwMRMw
 EQYDVQQDEwpKb2huIFNtaXRoMFwwDQYJKoZIhvcNAQEBBQADSwAwSAJBAMVUpDOZ
 KmHnOx7reP8Cc0Lk+fFWEuYIDX9W5K/BioQOKvEjXyQZhit9aThzBVMoSf1Y1S8J
 CzdUbCg1+IbnXaECAwEAAaAAMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAA0EAryqZvpYrUtQ486Ny
 qmtyQNjIi1F8c1Z+TL4uFYlMg8z6LG/J/u1E5t1QqB5e9Q4+BhRbrQjRR1JZx3tB
 1hP9Gg==
 -----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

   Creating a Certificate

   A valid certificate must be issued by a trusted CA. This can be done by
   specifying a CA certificate (-c) that is stored in the certificate
   database. If a CA key pair is not available, you can create a self-signed
   certificate using the -x argument with the -S command option.

 $ certutil -S -k rsa|dsa|ec -n certname -s subject [-c issuer |-x] -t trustargs -d [sql:]directory [-m serial-number] [-v valid-months] [-w offset-months] [-p phone] [-1] [-2] [-3] [-4] [-5 keyword] [-6 keyword] [-7 emailAddress] [-8 dns-names] [--extAIA] [--extSIA] [--extCP] [--extPM] [--extPC] [--extIA] [--extSKID]

   The series of numbers and --ext* options set certificate extensions that
   can be added to the certificate when it is generated by the CA.

   For example, this creates a self-signed certificate:

 $ certutil -S -s "CN=Example CA" -n my-ca-cert -x -t "C,C,C" -1 -2 -5 -m 3650

   From there, new certificates can reference the self-signed certificate:

 $ certutil -S -s "CN=My Server Cert" -n my-server-cert -c "my-ca-cert" -t "u,u,u" -1 -5 -6 -8 -m 730

   Generating a Certificate from a Certificate Request

   When a certificate request is created, a certificate can be generated by
   using the request and then referencing a certificate authority signing
   certificate (the issuer specified in the -c argument). The issuing
   certificate must be in the certificate database in the specified
   directory.

 certutil -C -c issuer -i cert-request-file -o output-file [-m serial-number] [-v valid-months] [-w offset-months] -d [sql:]directory [-1] [-2] [-3] [-4] [-5 keyword] [-6 keyword] [-7 emailAddress] [-8 dns-names]

   For example:

 $ certutil -C -c "my-ca-cert" -i /home/certs/cert.req -o cert.cer -m 010 -v 12 -w 1 -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -1 nonRepudiation,dataEncipherment -5 sslClient -6 clientAuth -7 jsmith@example.com

   Generating Key Pairs

   Key pairs are generated automatically with a certificate request or
   certificate, but they can also be generated independently using the -G
   command option.

 certutil -G -d [sql:]directory | -h tokenname -k key-type -g key-size [-y exponent-value] -q pqgfile|curve-name

   For example:

 $ certutil -G -h lunasa -k ec -g 256 -q sect193r2

   Listing Certificates

   The -L command option lists all of the certificates listed in the
   certificate database. The path to the directory (-d) is required.

 $ certutil -L -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb

 Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attributes
                                                              SSL,S/MIME,JAR/XPI

 CA Administrator of Instance pki-ca1's Example Domain ID     u,u,u
 TPS Administrator's Example Domain ID                        u,u,u
 Google Internet Authority                                    ,,
 Certificate Authority - Example Domain                       CT,C,C

   Using additional arguments with -L can return and print the information
   for a single, specific certificate. For example, the -n argument passes
   the certificate name, while the -a argument prints the certificate in
   ASCII format:

 $ certutil -L -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -a -n "Certificate Authority - Example Domain"

 -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
 MIIDmTCCAoGgAwIBAgIBATANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADA5MRcwFQYDVQQKEw5FeGFt
 cGxlIERvbWFpbjEeMBwGA1UEAxMVQ2VydGlmaWNhdGUgQXV0aG9yaXR5MB4XDTEw
 MDQyOTIxNTY1OFoXDTEyMDQxODIxNTY1OFowOTEXMBUGA1UEChMORXhhbXBsZSBE
 b21haW4xHjAcBgNVBAMTFUNlcnRpZmljYXRlIEF1dGhvcml0eTCCASIwDQYJKoZI
 hvcNAQEBBQADggEPADCCAQoCggEBAO/bqUli2KwqXFKmMMG93KN1SANzNTXA/Vlf
 Tmrih3hQgjvR1ktIY9aG6cB7DSKWmtHp/+p4PUCMqL4ZrSGt901qxkePyZ2dYmM2
 RnelK+SEUIPiUtoZaDhNdiYsE/yuDE8vQWj0vHCVL0w72qFUcSQ/WZT7FCrnUIUI
 udeWnoPSUn70gLhcj/lvxl7K9BHyD4Sq5CzktwYtFWLiiwV+ZY/Fl6JgbGaQyQB2
 bP4iRMfloGqsxGuB1evWVDF1haGpFDSPgMnEPSLg3/3dXn+HDJbZ29EU8/xKzQEb
 3V0AHKbu80zGllLEt2Zx/WDIrgJEN9yMfgKFpcmL+BvIRsmh0VsCAwEAAaOBqzCB
 qDAfBgNVHSMEGDAWgBQATgxHQyRUfKIZtdp55bZlFr+tFzAPBgNVHRMBAf8EBTAD
 AQH/MA4GA1UdDwEB/wQEAwIBxjAdBgNVHQ4EFgQUAE4MR0MkVHyiGbXaeeW2ZRa/
 rRcwRQYIKwYBBQUHAQEEOTA3MDUGCCsGAQUFBzABhilodHRwOi8vbG9jYWxob3N0
 LmxvY2FsZG9tYWluOjkxODAvY2Evb2NzcDANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFAAOCAQEAi8Gk
 L3XO43u7/TDOeEsWPmq+jZsDZ3GZ85Ajt3KROLWeKVZZZa2E2Hnsvf2uXbk5amKe
 lRxdSeRH9g85pv4KY7Z8xZ71NrI3+K3uwmnqkc6t0hhYb1mw/gx8OAAoluQx3biX
 JBDxjI73Cf7XUopplHBjjiwyGIJUO8BEZJ5L+TF4P38MJz1snLtzZpEAX5bl0U76
 bfu/tZFWBbE8YAWYtkCtMcalBPj6jn2WD3M01kGozW4mmbvsj1cRB9HnsGsqyHCu
 U0ujlL1H/RWcjn607+CTeKH9jLMUqCIqPJNOa+kq/6F7NhNRRiuzASIbZc30BZ5a
 nI7q5n1USM3eWQlVXw==
 -----END CERTIFICATE-----

   Listing Keys

   Keys are the original material used to encrypt certificate data. The keys
   generated for certificates are stored separately, in the key database.

   To list all keys in the database, use the -K command option and the
   (required) -d argument to give the path to the directory.

 $ certutil -K -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
 certutil: Checking token "NSS Certificate DB" in slot "NSS User Private Key and Certificate Services                  "
 < 0> rsa      455a6673bde9375c2887ec8bf8016b3f9f35861d   Thawte Freemail Member's Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd. ID
 < 1> rsa      40defeeb522ade11090eacebaaf1196a172127df   Example Domain Administrator Cert
 < 2> rsa      1d0b06f44f6c03842f7d4f4a1dc78b3bcd1b85a5   John Smith user cert

   There are ways to narrow the keys listed in the search results:

     o To return a specific key, use the -n name argument with the name of
       the key.

     o If there are multiple security devices loaded, then the -h tokenname
       argument can search a specific token or all tokens.

     o If there are multiple key types available, then the -k key-type
       argument can search a specific type of key, like RSA, DSA, or ECC.

   Listing Security Modules

   The devices that can be used to store certificates -- both internal
   databases and external devices like smart cards -- are recognized and used
   by loading security modules. The -U command option lists all of the
   security modules listed in the secmod.db database. The path to the
   directory (-d) is required.

 $ certutil -U -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb

     slot: NSS User Private Key and Certificate Services
    token: NSS Certificate DB

     slot: NSS Internal Cryptographic Services
    token: NSS Generic Crypto Services

   Adding Certificates to the Database

   Existing certificates or certificate requests can be added manually to the
   certificate database, even if they were generated elsewhere. This uses the
   -A command option.

 certutil -A -n certname -t trustargs -d [sql:]directory [-a] [-i input-file]

   For example:

 $ certutil -A -n "CN=My SSL Certificate" -t "u,u,u" -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -i /home/example-certs/cert.cer

   A related command option, -E, is used specifically to add email
   certificates to the certificate database. The -E command has the same
   arguments as the -A command. The trust arguments for certificates have the
   format SSL,S/MIME,Code-signing, so the middle trust settings relate most
   to email certificates (though the others can be set). For example:

 $ certutil -E -n "CN=John Smith Email Cert" -t ",Pu," -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -i /home/example-certs/email.cer

   Deleting Certificates to the Database

   Certificates can be deleted from a database using the -D option. The only
   required options are to give the security database directory and to
   identify the certificate nickname.

 certutil -D -d [sql:]directory -n "nickname"

   For example:

 $ certutil -D -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -n "my-ssl-cert"

   Validating Certificates

   A certificate contains an expiration date in itself, and expired
   certificates are easily rejected. However, certificates can also be
   revoked before they hit their expiration date. Checking whether a
   certificate has been revoked requires validating the certificate.
   Validation can also be used to ensure that the certificate is only used
   for the purposes it was initially issued for. Validation is carried out by
   the -V command option.

 certutil -V -n certificate-name [-b time] [-e] [-u cert-usage] -d [sql:]directory

   For example, to validate an email certificate:

 $ certutil -V -n "John Smith's Email Cert" -e -u S,R -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb

   Modifying Certificate Trust Settings

   The trust settings (which relate to the operations that a certificate is
   allowed to be used for) can be changed after a certificate is created or
   added to the database. This is especially useful for CA certificates, but
   it can be performed for any type of certificate.

 certutil -M -n certificate-name -t trust-args -d [sql:]directory

   For example:

 $ certutil -M -n "My CA Certificate" -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -t "CTu,CTu,CTu"

   Printing the Certificate Chain

   Certificates can be issued in chains because every certificate authority
   itself has a certificate; when a CA issues a certificate, it essentially
   stamps that certificate with its own fingerprint. The -O prints the full
   chain of a certificate, going from the initial CA (the root CA) through
   ever intermediary CA to the actual certificate. For example, for an email
   certificate with two CAs in the chain:

 $ certutil -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -O -n "jsmith@example.com"
 "Builtin Object Token:Thawte Personal Freemail CA" [E=personal-freemail@thawte.com,CN=Thawte Personal Freemail CA,OU=Certification Services Division,O=Thawte Consulting,L=Cape Town,ST=Western Cape,C=ZA]

   "Thawte Personal Freemail Issuing CA - Thawte Consulting" [CN=Thawte Personal Freemail Issuing CA,O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd.,C=ZA]

     "(null)" [E=jsmith@example.com,CN=Thawte Freemail Member]

   Resetting a Token

   The device which stores certificates -- both external hardware devices and
   internal software databases -- can be blanked and reused. This operation
   is performed on the device which stores the data, not directly on the
   security databases, so the location must be referenced through the token
   name (-h) as well as any directory path. If there is no external token
   used, the default value is internal.

 certutil -T -d [sql:]directory -h token-name -0 security-officer-password

   Many networks have dedicated personnel who handle changes to security
   tokens (the security officer). This person must supply the password to
   access the specified token. For example:

 $ certutil -T -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -h nethsm -0 secret

   Upgrading or Merging the Security Databases

   Many networks or applications may be using older BerkeleyDB versions of
   the certificate database (cert8.db). Databases can be upgraded to the new
   SQLite version of the database (cert9.db) using the --upgrade-merge
   command option or existing databases can be merged with the new cert9.db
   databases using the ---merge command.

   The --upgrade-merge command must give information about the original
   database and then use the standard arguments (like -d) to give the
   information about the new databases. The command also requires information
   that the tool uses for the process to upgrade and write over the original
   database.

 certutil --upgrade-merge -d [sql:]directory [-P dbprefix] --source-dir directory --source-prefix dbprefix --upgrade-id id --upgrade-token-name name [-@ password-file]

   For example:

 $ certutil --upgrade-merge -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb --source-dir /opt/my-app/alias/ --source-prefix serverapp- --upgrade-id 1 --upgrade-token-name internal

   The --merge command only requires information about the location of the
   original database; since it doesn't change the format of the database, it
   can write over information without performing interim step.

 certutil --merge -d [sql:]directory [-P dbprefix] --source-dir directory --source-prefix dbprefix [-@ password-file]

   For example:

 $ certutil --merge -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb --source-dir /opt/my-app/alias/ --source-prefix serverapp-

   Running certutil Commands from a Batch File

   A series of commands can be run sequentially from a text file with the -B
   command option. The only argument for this specifies the input file.

 $ certutil -B -i /path/to/batch-file

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:

 $ certutil -L -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:

     o 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:

     o https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB

See Also

   pk12util (1)

   modutil (1)

   certutil has arguments or operations that use features defined in several
   IETF RFCs.

     o http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5280

     o http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1113

     o http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1485

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

     o https://wiki.mozilla.org/NSS_Shared_DB_Howto

     o 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: fscholz, emaldona@redhat.com
Last updated by: fscholz,