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NSS Tools modutil

Using the Security Module Database (modutil)

Newsgroup: mozilla.dev.tech.crypto

The Security Module Database Tool is a command-line utility for managing PKCS #11 module information within secmod.db files or within hardware tokens. You can use the tool to add and delete PKCS #11 modules, change passwords, set defaults, list module contents, enable or disable slots, enable or disable FIPS 140-2 compliance, and assign default providers for cryptographic operations. This tool can also create key3.db, cert8.db, and secmod.db security database files.

The tasks associated with security module database management are part of a process that typically also involves managing key databases (key3.db files) and certificate databases (cert8.db files). The key, certificate, and PKCS #11 module management process generally begins with creating the keys and key database necessary to generate and manage certificates and the certificate database.

This document discusses security module database management. For information on certificate database and key database management, see Using the Certificate Database Tool.

Availability

This tool is known to build on Solaris 2.5.1 (SunOS 5.5.1) and Windows NT 4.0.

Syntax

To run the Security Module Database Tool, type the command

modutil option [arguments]

where option and arguments are combinations of the options and arguments listed in the following section. Each command takes one option. Each option may take zero or more arguments. To see a usage string, issue the command without options.

Options and Arguments

Options specify an action. Option arguments modify an action. The options and arguments for the modutil command are defined as follows:

Options

-create

Create new secmod.db, key3.db, and cert8.db files. Use the -dbdir directory argument to specify a directory. If any of these databases already exist in a specified directory, the Security Module Database Tool displays an error message.

-list [modulename]

Display basic information about the contents of the secmod.db file. Use modulename to display detailed information about a particular module and its slots and tokens.

-add modulename

Add the named PKCS #11 module to the database. Use this option with the -libfile, -ciphers, and -mechanisms arguments.

-jar JAR-file

Add a new PKCS #11 module to the database using the named JAR file. Use this option with the -installdir and -tempdir arguments. The JAR file uses the Netscape Server PKCS #11 JAR format to identify all the files to be installed, the module's name, the mechanism flags, and the cipher flags. The JAR file should also contain any files to be installed on the target machine, including the PKCS #11 module library file and other files such as documentation. See the section JAR Installation File for information on creating the special script needed to perform an installation through a server or with the Security Module Database Tool (that is, in environments without JavaScript support). For general installation instructions and to install a module in environments where JavaScript support is available (as in Netscape Communicator), see the document Using the JAR Installation Manager to Install a PKCS #11 Cryptographic Module.

-delete modulename

Delete the named module. Note that you cannot delete the Netscape Communicator internal PKCS #11 module.

-changepw tokenname

Change the password on the named token. If the token has not been initialized, this option initializes the password. Use this option with the -pwfile and -newpwfile arguments. In this context, the term "password" is equivalent to a personal identification number (PIN).

-default modulename

Specify the security mechanisms for which the named module will be a default provider. The security mechanisms are specified with the -mechanisms mechanism-list argument.

-undefault modulename

Specify the security mechanisms for which the named module will not be a default provider. The security mechanisms are specified with the -mechanisms mechanism-list argument.

-enable modulename

Enable all slots on the named module. Use the [-slot slotname] argument to enable a specific slot.

-disable modulename

Disable all slots on the named module. Use the [-slot slotname] argument to disable a specific slot.

-fips [true | false]

Enable (true) or disable (false) FIPS 140-2 compliance for the Netscape Communicator internal module.

-force

Disable the Security Module Database Tool's interactive prompts so it can be run from a script. Use this option only after manually testing each planned operation to check for warnings and to ensure that bypassing the prompts will cause no security lapses or loss of database integrity.

Arguments

-dbdir directory

Specify the database directory in which to access or create security module database files. On Unix, the Security Module Database Tool defaults to the user's Netscape directory. Windows NT has no default directory, so -dbdir must be used to specify a directory.

-dbprefix prefix

Specify the prefix used on the cert8.db and key3.db files (for example, my_cert8.db and my_key3.db). This option is provided as a special case. Changing the names of the certificate and key databases is not recommended.

-libfile library-file

Specify a path to the DLL or other library file containing the implementation of the PKCS #11 interface module that is being added to the database.

-ciphers cipher-enable-list

Enable specific ciphers in a module that is being added to the database. The cipher-enable-list is a colon-delimited list of cipher names. Enclose this list in quotation marks if it contains spaces. The following cipher is currently available: FORTEZZA.

-mechanisms mechanism-list

Specify the security mechanisms for which a particular module will be flagged as a default provider. The mechanism-list is a colon-delimited list of mechanism names. Enclose this list in quotation marks if it contains spaces. The module becomes a default provider for the listed mechanisms when those mechanisms are enabled. If more than one module claims to be a particular mechanism's default provider, that mechanism's default provider is undefined. The following mechanisms are currently available: RSA, DSA, RC2, RC4, RC5, DES, DH, FORTEZZA, SHA1, MD5, MD2, RANDOM (for random number generation), and FRIENDLY (meaning certificates are publicly readable).

-installdir root-installation-directory

Specify the root installation directory relative to which files will be installed by the -jar JAR-file option. This directory should be one below which it is appropriate to store dynamic library files (for example, a server's root directory or the Netscape Communicator root directory).

-tempdir temporary-directory

The temporary directory is the location where temporary files will be created in the course of installation by the -jar JAR-file option. If no temporary directory is specified, the current directory will be used.

-pwfile old-password-file

Specify a text file containing a token's existing password so that a password can be entered automatically when the -changepw tokenname option is used to change passwords.

-newpwfile new-password-file

Specify a text file containing a token's new or replacement password so that a password can be entered automatically with the -changepw tokenname option.

-slot slotname

Specify a particular slot to be enabled or disabled with the -enable modulename or -disable modulename options.

-nocertdb

Do not open the certificate or key databases. This has several effects:

Usage

The Security Module Database Tool's capabilities are grouped as follows, using these combinations of options and arguments. The options and arguments in square brackets are optional, those without square brackets are required.

JAR Installation File

When a JAR file is run by a server, by the Security Module Database Tool, or by any program that does not interpret JavaScript, a special information file must be included in the format described below.

This information file contains special scripting and must be declared in the JAR archive's manifest file. The script can have any name. The metainfo tag for this is Pkcs11_install_script. To declare meta-information in the manifest file, put it in a file that is passed to the Netscape Signing Tool.

Sample Script

For example, the PKCS #11 installer script could be in the file pk11install. If so, the metainfo file for the Netscape Signing Tool would include a line such as this:

+ Pkcs11_install_script: pk11install
The sample script file could contain the following:

ForwardCompatible { IRIX:6.2:mips SUNOS:5.5.1:sparc }
Platforms {
   WINNT::x86 {
      ModuleName { "Fortezza Module" }
      ModuleFile { win32/fort32.dll }
      DefaultMechanismFlags{0x0001}
      DefaultCipherFlags{0x0001}
      Files {
         win32/setup.exe {
            Executable
            RelativePath { %temp%/setup.exe }
         }
         win32/setup.hlp {
            RelativePath { %temp%/setup.hlp }
         }
         win32/setup.cab {
            RelativePath { %temp%/setup.cab }
         }
      }
   }
   WIN95::x86 {
      EquivalentPlatform {WINNT::x86}
   }
   SUNOS:5.5.1:sparc {
      ModuleName { "Fortezza UNIX Module" }
      ModuleFile { unix/fort.so }
      DefaultMechanismFlags{0x0001}
      CipherEnableFlags{0x0001}
      Files {
         unix/fort.so {
            RelativePath{%root%/lib/fort.so}
            AbsolutePath{/usr/local/netscape/lib/fort.so}
            FilePermissions{555}
         }
         xplat/instr.html {
            RelativePath{%root%/docs/inst.html}
            AbsolutePath{/usr/local/netscape/docs/inst.html}
            FilePermissions{555}
         }
      }
   }
   IRIX:6.2:mips {
      EquivalentPlatform { SUNOS:5.5.1:sparc }
   }
}

Script Grammar

The script file grammar is as follows:

--> valuelist
valuelist --> value valuelist
               <null>
value ---> key_value_pair
            string
key_value_pair --> key { valuelist }
key --> string
string --> simple_string
            "complex_string"
simple_string --> [^ \t\n\""{""}"]+ 
(No whitespace, quotes, or braces.)
complex_string --> ([^\"\\\r\n]|(\\\")|(\\\\))+ (Quotes and
backslashes must be escaped with a backslash. A complex string must not
include newlines or carriage returns.)
Outside of complex strings, all white space (for example, spaces, tabs, and carriage returns) is considered equal and is used only to delimit tokens.

Keys

Keys are case-insensitive. This section discusses the following keys:

Global Keys
Per-Platform Keys
Per-File Keys

Global Keys

ForwardCompatible

Gives a list of platforms that are forward compatible. If the current platform cannot be found in the list of supported platforms, then the ForwardCompatible list is checked for any platforms that have the same OS and architecture in an earlier version. If one is found, its attributes are used for the current platform.

Platforms (required)

Gives a list of platforms. Each entry in the list is itself a key-value pair: the key is the name of the platform and the value list contains various attributes of the platform. The ModuleName, ModuleFile, and Files attributes must be specified for each platform unless an EquivalentPlatform attribute is specified. The platform string is in the following format: system name:OS release:architecture. The installer obtains these values from NSPR. OS release is an empty string on non-Unix operating systems. The following system names and platforms are currently defined by NSPR:

Here are some examples of valid platform strings:

IRIX:6.2:mips
SUNOS:5.5.1:sparc
Linux:2.0.32:x86
WIN95::x86.

Per-Platform Keys

These keys have meaning only within the value list of an entry in the Platforms list.

ModuleName (required)

Gives the common name for the module. This name will be used to reference the module from Netscape Communicator, the Security Module Database tool (modutil), servers, or any other program that uses the Netscape security module database.

ModuleFile (required)

Names the PKCS #11 module file (DLL or .so) for this platform. The name is given as the relative path of the file within the JAR archive.

Files (required)

Lists the files that need to be installed for this module. Each entry in the file list is a key-value pair: the key is the path of the file in the JAR archive, and the value list contains attributes of the file. At least RelativePath or AbsolutePath must be specified for each file.

DefaultMechanismFlags

Specifies mechanisms for which this module will be a default provider. This key-value pair is a bitstring specified in hexadecimal (0x) format. It is constructed as a bitwise OR of the following constants. If the DefaultMechanismFlags entry is omitted, the value defaults to 0x0.

   RSA:                   0x00000001
   DSA:                   0x00000002
   RC2:                   0x00000004
   RC4:                   0x00000008
   DES:                   0x00000010
   DH:                    0x00000020
   FORTEZZA:              0x00000040
   RC5:                   0x00000080
   SHA1:                  0x00000100
   MD5:                   0x00000200
   MD2:                   0x00000400
   RANDOM:                0x08000000
   FRIENDLY:              0x10000000
   OWN_PW_DEFAULTS:       0x20000000
   DISABLE:               0x40000000
CipherEnableFlags

Specifies ciphers that this module provides but Netscape Communicator does not, so that Communicator can enable them. This key is a bitstring specified in hexadecimal (0x) format. It is constructed as a bitwise OR of the following constants. If the CipherEnableFlags entry is omitted, the value defaults to 0x0.

   FORTEZZA:               0x0000 0001
EquivalentPlatform

Specifies that the attributes of the named platform should also be used for the current platform. Saves typing when there is more than one platform using the same settings.

Per-File Keys

These keys have meaning only within the value list of an entry in a Files list. At least one of RelativePath and AbsolutePath must be specified. If both are specified, the relative path is tried first, and the absolute path is used only if no relative root directory is provided by the installer program.

RelativePath

Specifies the destination directory of the file, relative to some directory decided at install time. Two variables can be used in the relative path: "%root%" and "%temp%". "%root%" is replaced at run time with the directory relative to which files should be installed; for example, it may be the server's root directory or the Netscape Communicator root directory. The "%temp%" directory is created at the beginning of the installation and destroyed at the end.

The purpose of "%temp%" is to hold executable files (such as setup programs) or files that are used by these programs. For example, a Windows installation might consist of a setup.exe installation program, a help file, and a .cab file containing compressed information. All these files could be installed in the temporary directory. Files destined for the temporary directory are guaranteed to be in place before any executable file is run; they are not deleted until all executable files have finished.

AbsolutePath

Specifies the destination directory of the file as an absolute path. If both RelativePath and AbsolutePath are specified, the installer attempts to use the relative path; if it is unable to determine a relative path, it uses the absolute path.

Executable

Specifies that the file is to be executed during the course of the installation. Typically this string would be used for a setup program provided by a module vendor, such as a self-extracting setup.exe. More than one file can be specified as executable, in which case the files are run in the order in which they are specified in the script file.

FilePermissions

Interpreted as a string of octal digits, according to the standard Unix format. This string is a bitwise OR of the following constants:

   user read:                0400
   user write:               0200
   user execute:             0100
   group read:               0040
   group write:              0020
   group execute:            0010
   other read:               0004
   other write:              0002
   other execute:       0001
Some platforms may not understand these permissions. They are applied only insofar as they make sense for the current platform. If this attribute is omitted, a default of 777 is assumed.

Examples

Creating Database Files
Displaying Module Information
Setting a Default Provider
Enabling a Slot
Enabling FIPS Compliance
Adding a Cryptographic Module
Installing a Cryptographic Module from a JAR File
Changing the Password on a Token

Creating Database Files

This example creates a set of security management database files in the specified directory:

modutil -create -dbdir c:\databases
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Creating "c:\databases\key3.db"...done.
Creating "c:\databases\cert8.db"...done.
Creating "c:\databases\secmod.db"...done.

Displaying Module Information

This example gives detailed information about the specified module:

modutil -list "Netscape Internal PKCS #11 Module" -dbdir c:\databases 
The Security Module Database Tool displays information similar to this:

Using database directory c:\databases...
--------------------------------------------------------
Name: Netscape Internal PKCS #11 Module
Library file: **Internal ONLY module**
Manufacturer: Netscape Communications Corp
Description: Communicator Internal Crypto Svc
PKCS #11 Version 2.0
Library Version: 4.0
Cipher Enable Flags: None
Default Mechanism Flags: RSA:DSA:RC2:RC4:DES:SHA1:MD5:MD2
Slot: Communicator Internal Cryptographic Services Version 4.0
Manufacturer: Netscape Communications Corp
Type: Software
Version Number: 4.1
Firmware Version: 0.0
Status: Enabled
Token Name: Communicator Generic Crypto Svcs
Token Manufacturer: Netscape Communications Corp
Token Model: Libsec 4.0
Token Serial Number: 0000000000000000
Token Version: 4.0
Token Firmware Version: 0.0
Access: Write Protected
Login Type: Public (no login required)
User Pin: NOT Initialized
Slot: Communicator User Private Key and Certificate Services
Manufacturer: Netscape Communications Corp
Type: Software
Version Number: 3.0
Firmware Version: 0.0
Status: Enabled
Token Name: Communicator Certificate DB
Token Manufacturer: Netscape Communications Corp
Token Model: Libsec 4.0
Token Serial Number: 0000000000000000
Token Version: 7.0
Token Firmware Version: 0.0
Access: NOT Write Protected
Login Type: Login required
User Pin: NOT Initialized

Setting a Default Provider

This example makes the specified module a default provider for the RSA, DSA, and RC2 security mechanisms:

modutil -default "Cryptographic Module" -dbdir 
c:\databases -mechanisms RSA:DSA:RC2
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Using database directory c:\databases...
Successfully changed defaults.

Enabling a Slot

This example enables a particular slot in the specified module:

modutil -enable "Cryptographic Module" -slot 
"Cryptographic Reader" -dbdir c:\databases
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Using database directory c:\databases...
Slot "Cryptographic Reader" enabled. 

Enabling FIPS Compliance

This example enables FIPS 140-2 compliance in Communicator's internal module:

modutil -dbdir "C:\databases" -fips true 
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while the browser is running could cause
corruption of your security databases. If the browser is currently running,
you should exit browser before continuing this operation. Type
'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

FIPS mode enabled. 

Adding a Cryptographic Module

This example adds a new cryptographic module to the database:

C:\modutil> modutil -dbdir "C:\databases" -add "Cryptorific Module" -
libfile "C:\winnt\system32\crypto.dll" -mechanisms RSA:DSA:RC2:RANDOM
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Using database directory C:\databases... 
Module "Cryptorific Module" added to database.
C:\modutil>

Installing a Cryptographic Module from a JAR File

This example installs a cryptographic module from the following sample installation script.

Platforms { 
   WinNT::x86 {
      ModuleName { "Cryptorific Module" }
      ModuleFile { crypto.dll }
      DefaultMechanismFlags{0x0000}
      CipherEnableFlags{0x0000}
      Files {
         crypto.dll {
            RelativePath{ %root%/system32/crypto.dll }
         }
         setup.exe {
            Executable
            RelativePath{ %temp%/setup.exe }
         }
      }
   }
   Win95::x86 {
      EquivalentPlatform { Winnt::x86 }
   }
}
To install from the script, use the following command. The root directory should be the Windows root directory (for example, c:\\windows, or c:\\winnt).

C:\modutil> modutil -dbdir "c:\databases" -jar 
install.jar -installdir "C:/winnt"
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Using database directory c:\databases... 
This installation JAR file was signed by: 
----------------------------------------------
**SUBJECT NAME** 
C=US, ST=California, L=Mountain View, CN=Cryptorific Inc., OU=Digital ID
Class 3 - Netscape Object Signing, OU="www.verisign.com/repository/CPS
Incorp. by Ref.,LIAB.LTD(c)9 6", OU=www.verisign.com/CPS Incorp.by Ref
. LIABILITY LTD.(c)97 VeriSign, OU=VeriSign Object Signing CA - Class 3
Organization, OU="VeriSign, Inc.", O=VeriSign Trust Network **ISSUER
NAME**, OU=www.verisign.com/CPS Incorp.by Ref. LIABILITY LTD.(c)97
VeriSign, OU=VeriSign Object Signing CA - Class 3 Organization,
OU="VeriSign, Inc.", O=VeriSign Trust Network
----------------------------------------------
Do you wish to continue this installation? (y/n) y 
Using installer script "installer_script"
Successfully parsed installation script
Current platform is WINNT::x86
Using installation parameters for platform WinNT::x86
Installed file crypto.dll to C:/winnt/system32/crypto.dll
Installed file setup.exe to ./pk11inst.dir/setup.exe
Executing "./pk11inst.dir/setup.exe"...
"./pk11inst.dir/setup.exe" executed successfully
Installed module "Cryptorific Module" into module database
Installation completed successfully 
C:\modutil>

Changing the Password on a Token

This example changes the password for a token on an existing module.

C:\modutil> modutil -dbdir "c:\databases" -changepw 
"Communicator Certificate DB"
The Security Module Database Tool displays a warning:

WARNING: Performing this operation while Communicator is running could
cause corruption of your security databases. If Communicator is
currently running, you should exit Communicator before continuing this
operation. Type 'q <enter>' to abort, or <enter> to continue:
After you press Enter, the tool displays the following:

Using database directory c:\databases... 
Enter old password:
Incorrect password, try again...
Enter old password:
Enter new password:
Re-enter new password:
Token "Communicator Certificate DB" password changed successfully.
C:\modutil>

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: Sheppy, kwilson
 Last updated by: Sheppy,