NSS Tools pk12util

Using the PKCS #12 Tool (pk12util)

Newsgroup: mozilla.dev.tech.crypto

The PKCS #12 utility makes sharing of certificates among Enterprise server 3.x and any server (Netscape products or non-Netscape products) that supports PKCS#12 possible. The tool allows you to import certificates and keys from pkcs #12 files into NSS or export them and also list certificates and keys in such files.

Availability

See the release notes for the platforms this tool is available on.

Synopsis

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

Syntax

To run the PKCS #12 Tool, type ther command pk12util option [arguments] where option and arguments are combinations of the options and arguments listed in the following section. Three of the options, -i, -o, and -l, should be considered commands of the pk12util invocation. Each command takes several options. Options may take zero or more arguments. To see a usage string, issue the pkcs12util command without any options.

Options and Arguments

Options specify an action. Option arguments modify an action. The options and arguments for the pk12util command are defined as follows:

Options

-i p12file

Import a certificate and private key from from the p12file into the database.

-o p12file

Export certificate and private key, specified by the -n option, from the database to the p12 file.

-l p12file

List certificate and private key from from the p12file file.

Arguments

-n certname

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

-d dir

Specify the database directory into which to import to or export from certificates and keys. If not specified the directory defaults to $HOME/.netscape (when $HOME exists in the environment), or to ./.netscape (when $HOME does not exist in the environment).

-P 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.

-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 a slot's password

-w p12filePasswordFile

Specify the text file containing the pkcs 12 file's password

-W p12filePassword

Specify the pkcs 12 file's password

-c key-cipher

Specify the key encryption algorithm

-C certCipher

Specify the PFX encryption algorithm

-m | --key_len
keyLen

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

-n | --cert_key_len
certLeyLen

Specify the desired length of the symmetric key to be used to encrypt the top level protocol data unit

Password Based 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 also the entire package when allowed. If no algorithm is specified, the tool defaults to using "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 3KEY Triple DES-cbc" for private key encryption. For historical export control reasons "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 40 Bit RC4" is the default for the overall package encryption when not in FIPS mode and no package encryption when in FIPS mode. The private key is always protected with strong encryption by default. A list of ciphers follows.

  • symmetric CBC ciphers for PKCS #5 V2:
    • "DES_CBC"
    • "RC2-CBC"
    • "RC5-CBCPad"
    • "DES-EDE3-CBC"
      --- default for key encryption
    • "AES-128-CBC"
    • "AES-192-CBC"
    • "AES-256-CBC"
    • "CAMELLIA-128-CBC"
    • "CAMELLIA-192-CBC"
    • "CAMELLIA-256-CBC"

  • PKCS #12 PBE Ciphers:
    • "PKCS #12 PBE With Sha1 and 128 Bit RC4"
    • "PKCS #12 PBE With Sha1 and 40 Bit RC4"
    • "PKCS #12 PBE With Sha1 and Triple DES CBC"
    • "PKCS #12 PBE With Sha1 and 128 Bit RC2 CBC"
    • "PKCS #12 PBE With Sha1 and 40 Bit RC2 CBC"
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 128 Bit RC4"
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 40 Bit RC4"
      --- default for PFX encryption in non-fips mode, no encryption on fips mode
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 3KEY Triple DES-cbc"
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 2KEY Triple DES-cbc"
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 128 Bit RC2 CBC"
    • "PKCS12 V2 PBE With SHA1 And 40 Bit RC2 CBC"

  • PKCS #5 PBE Ciphers:
    • "PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with MD2 and DES CBC"
    • "PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with MD5 and DES CBC"
    • "PKCS #5 Password Based Encryption with SHA1 and DES CBC"

It should be noted that the the crypto provider may be the softtoken module or an external hardware module. It may be the case that the cryptographic module does not support the requested algorithm and a best fit will be selected, likely to be the default. If no suitable replacement for the desired algorithm can be found a "no security module can perform the requested operation" will appear on the error message.

Error Codes

pk12util can return the following values:

0 - No error
1 - User Cancelled
2 - Usage error
6 - NLS init error
8 - Certificate DB open error
9 - Key DB open error
10 - File initialization error
11 - Unicode conversion error
12 - Temporary file creation error
13 - PKCS11 get slot error
14 - PKCS12 decoder start error
15 - error read from import file
16 - pkcs12 decode error
17 - pkcs12 decoder verify error
18 - pkcs12 decoder validate bags error
19 - pkcs12 decoder import bags error
20 - key db conversion version 3 to version 2 error
21 - cert db conversion version 7 to version 5 error
22 - cert and key dbs patch error
23 - get default cert db error
24 - find cert by nickname error
25 - create export context error
26 - PKCS12 add password itegrity error
27 - cert and key Safes creation error
28 - PKCS12 add cert and key error
29 - PKCS12 encode error

Document Tags and Contributors

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