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CA(1)                               OpenSSL                              CA(1)

       ca - sample minimal CA application

       openssl ca [-verbose] [-config filename] [-name section] [-gencrl] [-revoke file]
       [-crl_reason reason] [-crl_hold instruction] [-crl_compromise time]
       [-crl_CA_compromise time] [-crldays days] [-crlhours hours] [-crlexts section]
       [-startdate date] [-enddate date] [-days arg] [-md arg] [-policy arg] [-keyfile
       arg] [-key arg] [-passin arg] [-cert file] [-selfsign] [-in file] [-out file]
       [-notext] [-outdir dir] [-infiles] [-spkac file] [-ss_cert file] [-preserveDN]
       [-noemailDN] [-batch] [-msie_hack] [-extensions section] [-extfile section]
       [-engine id] [-subj arg] [-utf8] [-multivalue-rdn]

       The ca command is a minimal CA application. It can be used to sign certificate
       requests in a variety of forms and generate CRLs it also maintains a text database
       of issued certificates and their status.

       The options descriptions will be divided into each purpose.

       -config filename
           specifies the configuration file to use.

       -name section
           specifies the configuration file section to use (overrides default_ca in the ca

       -in filename
           an input filename containing a single certificate request to be signed by the

       -ss_cert filename
           a single self signed certificate to be signed by the CA.

       -spkac filename
           a file containing a single Netscape signed public key and challenge and
           additional field values to be signed by the CA. See the SPKAC FORMAT section
           for information on the required format.

           if present this should be the last option, all subsequent arguments are assumed
           to the the names of files containing certificate requests.

       -out filename
           the output file to output certificates to. The default is standard output. The
           certificate details will also be printed out to this file.

       -outdir directory
           the directory to output certificates to. The certificate will be written to a
           filename consisting of the serial number in hex with ".pem" appended.

           the CA certificate file.

       -keyfile filename
           the private key to sign requests with.

       -key password
           the password used to encrypt the private key. Since on some systems the command
           line arguments are visible (e.g. Unix with the 'ps' utility) this option should
           be used with caution.

           indicates the issued certificates are to be signed with the key the certificate
           requests were signed with (given with -keyfile).  Cerificate requests signed
           with a different key are ignored.  If -spkac, -ss_cert or -gencrl are given,
           -selfsign is ignored.

           A consequence of using -selfsign is that the self-signed certificate appears
           among the entries in the certificate database (see the configuration option
           database), and uses the same serial number counter as all other certificates
           sign with the self-signed certificate.

       -passin arg
           the key password source. For more information about the format of arg see the
           PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS section in openssl(1).

           this prints extra details about the operations being performed.

           don't output the text form of a certificate to the output file.

       -startdate date
           this allows the start date to be explicitly set. The format of the date is
           YYMMDDHHMMSSZ (the same as an ASN1 UTCTime structure).

       -enddate date
           this allows the expiry date to be explicitly set. The format of the date is
           YYMMDDHHMMSSZ (the same as an ASN1 UTCTime structure).

       -days arg
           the number of days to certify the certificate for.

       -md alg
           the message digest to use. Possible values include md5, sha1 and mdc2.  For
           full list of digests see openssl dgst -h output. This option also applies to

       -policy arg
           this option defines the CA "policy" to use. This is a section in the
           configuration file which decides which fields should be mandatory or match the
           CA certificate. Check out the POLICY FORMAT section for more information.

           this is a legacy option to make ca work with very old versions of the IE
           certificate enrollment control "certenr3". It used UniversalStrings for almost
           everything. Since the old control has various security bugs its use is strongly
           discouraged. The newer control "Xenroll" does not need this option.

           Normally the DN order of a certificate is the same as the order of the fields
           in the relevant policy section. When this option is set the order is the same
           as the request. This is largely for compatibility with the older IE enrollment
           control which would only accept certificates if their DNs match the order of
           the request. This is not needed for Xenroll.

           The DN of a certificate can contain the EMAIL field if present in the request
           DN, however it is good policy just having the e-mail set into the altName
           extension of the certificate. When this option is set the EMAIL field is
           removed from the certificate' subject and set only in the, eventually present,
           extensions. The email_in_dn keyword can be used in the configuration file to
           enable this behaviour.

           this sets the batch mode. In this mode no questions will be asked and all
           certificates will be certified automatically.

       -extensions section
           the section of the configuration file containing certificate extensions to be
           added when a certificate is issued (defaults to x509_extensions unless the
           -extfile option is used). If no extension section is present then, a V1
           certificate is created. If the extension section is present (even if it is
           empty), then a V3 certificate is created. See the:w x509v3_config(5) manual
           page for details of the extension section format.

       -extfile file
           an additional configuration file to read certificate extensions from (using the
           default section unless the -extensions option is also used).

       -engine id
           specifying an engine (by its unique id string) will cause ca to attempt to
           obtain a functional reference to the specified engine, thus initialising it if
           needed. The engine will then be set as the default for all available

       -subj arg
           supersedes subject name given in the request.  The arg must be formatted as
           /type0=value0/type1=value1/type2=..., characters may be escaped by \
           (backslash), no spaces are skipped.

           this option causes field values to be interpreted as UTF8 strings, by default
           they are interpreted as ASCII. This means that the field values, whether
           prompted from a terminal or obtained from a configuration file, must be valid
           UTF8 strings.

           this option causes the -subj argument to be interpretedt with full support for
           multivalued RDNs. Example:

           /DC=org/DC=OpenSSL/DC=users/UID=123456+CN=John Doe

           If -multi-rdn is not used then the UID value is 123456+CN=John Doe.

           this option generates a CRL based on information in the index file.

       -crldays num
           the number of days before the next CRL is due. That is the days from now to
           place in the CRL nextUpdate field.

       -crlhours num
           the number of hours before the next CRL is due.

       -revoke filename
           a filename containing a certificate to revoke.

       -crl_reason reason
           revocation reason, where reason is one of: unspecified, keyCompromise,
           CACompromise, affiliationChanged, superseded, cessationOfOperation,
           certificateHold or removeFromCRL. The matching of reason is case insensitive.
           Setting any revocation reason will make the CRL v2.

           In practive removeFromCRL is not particularly useful because it is only used in
           delta CRLs which are not currently implemented.

       -crl_hold instruction
           This sets the CRL revocation reason code to certificateHold and the hold
           instruction to instruction which must be an OID. Although any OID can be used
           only holdInstructionNone (the use of which is discouraged by RFC2459)
           holdInstructionCallIssuer or holdInstructionReject will normally be used.

       -crl_compromise time
           This sets the revocation reason to keyCompromise and the compromise time to
           time. time should be in GeneralizedTime format that is YYYYMMDDHHMMSSZ.

       -crl_CA_compromise time
           This is the same as crl_compromise except the revocation reason is set to

       -crlexts section
           the section of the configuration file containing CRL extensions to include. If
           no CRL extension section is present then a V1 CRL is created, if the CRL
           extension section is present (even if it is empty) then a V2 CRL is created.
           The CRL extensions specified are CRL extensions and not CRL entry extensions.
           It should be noted that some software (for example Netscape) can't handle V2
           CRLs. See x509v3_config(5) manual page for details of the extension section

       The section of the configuration file containing options for ca is found as
       follows: If the -name command line option is used, then it names the section to be
       used. Otherwise the section to be used must be named in the default_ca option of
       the ca section of the configuration file (or in the default section of the
       configuration file). Besides default_ca, the following options are read directly
       from the ca section:
        msie_hack With the exception of RANDFILE, this is probably a bug and may change in
       future releases.

       Many of the configuration file options are identical to command line options. Where
       the option is present in the configuration file and the command line the command
       line value is used. Where an option is described as mandatory then it must be
       present in the configuration file or the command line equivalent (if any) used.

           This specifies a file containing additional OBJECT IDENTIFIERS.  Each line of
           the file should consist of the numerical form of the object identifier followed
           by white space then the short name followed by white space and finally the long

           This specifies a section in the configuration file containing extra object
           identifiers. Each line should consist of the short name of the object
           identifier followed by = and the numerical form. The short and long names are
           the same when this option is used.

           the same as the -outdir command line option. It specifies the directory where
           new certificates will be placed. Mandatory.

           the same as -cert. It gives the file containing the CA certificate. Mandatory.

           same as the -keyfile option. The file containing the CA private key. Mandatory.

           a file used to read and write random number seed information, or an EGD socket
           (see RAND_egd(3)).

           the same as the -days option. The number of days to certify a certificate for.

           the same as the -startdate option. The start date to certify a certificate for.
           If not set the current time is used.

           the same as the -enddate option. Either this option or default_days (or the
           command line equivalents) must be present.

       default_crl_hours default_crl_days
           the same as the -crlhours and the -crldays options. These will only be used if
           neither command line option is present. At least one of these must be present
           to generate a CRL.

           the same as the -md option. The message digest to use. Mandatory.

           the text database file to use. Mandatory. This file must be present though
           initially it will be empty.

           if the value yes is given, the valid certificate entries in the database must
           have unique subjects.  if the value no is given, several valid certificate
           entries may have the exact same subject.  The default value is yes, to be
           compatible with older (pre 0.9.8) versions of OpenSSL.  However, to make CA
           certificate roll-over easier, it's recommended to use the value no, especially
           if combined with the -selfsign command line option.

           a text file containing the next serial number to use in hex. Mandatory.  This
           file must be present and contain a valid serial number.

           a text file containing the next CRL number to use in hex. The crl number will
           be inserted in the CRLs only if this file exists. If this file is present, it
           must contain a valid CRL number.

           the same as -extensions.

           the same as -crlexts.

           the same as -preserveDN

           the same as -noemailDN. If you want the EMAIL field to be removed from the DN
           of the certificate simply set this to 'no'. If not present the default is to
           allow for the EMAIL filed in the certificate's DN.

           the same as -msie_hack

           the same as -policy. Mandatory. See the POLICY FORMAT section for more

       name_opt, cert_opt
           these options allow the format used to display the certificate details when
           asking the user to confirm signing. All the options supported by the x509
           utilities -nameopt and -certopt switches can be used here, except the
           no_signame and no_sigdump are permanently set and cannot be disabled (this is
           because the certificate signature cannot be displayed because the certificate
           has not been signed at this point).

           For convenience the values ca_default are accepted by both to produce a
           reasonable output.

           If neither option is present the format used in earlier versions of OpenSSL is
           used. Use of the old format is strongly discouraged because it only displays
           fields mentioned in the policy section, mishandles multicharacter string types
           and does not display extensions.

           determines how extensions in certificate requests should be handled.  If set to
           none or this option is not present then extensions are ignored and not copied
           to the certificate. If set to copy then any extensions present in the request
           that are not already present are copied to the certificate. If set to copyall
           then all extensions in the request are copied to the certificate: if the
           extension is already present in the certificate it is deleted first. See the
           WARNINGS section before using this option.

           The main use of this option is to allow a certificate request to supply values
           for certain extensions such as subjectAltName.

       The policy section consists of a set of variables corresponding to certificate DN
       fields. If the value is "match" then the field value must match the same field in
       the CA certificate. If the value is "supplied" then it must be present. If the
       value is "optional" then it may be present. Any fields not mentioned in the policy
       section are silently deleted, unless the -preserveDN option is set but this can be
       regarded more of a quirk than intended behaviour.

       The input to the -spkac command line option is a Netscape signed public key and
       challenge. This will usually come from the KEYGEN tag in an HTML form to create a
       new private key.  It is however possible to create SPKACs using the spkac utility.

       The file should contain the variable SPKAC set to the value of the SPKAC and also
       the required DN components as name value pairs.  If you need to include the same
       component twice then it can be preceded by a number and a '.'.

       Note: these examples assume that the ca directory structure is already set up and
       the relevant files already exist. This usually involves creating a CA certificate
       and private key with req, a serial number file and an empty index file and placing
       them in the relevant directories.

       To use the sample configuration file below the directories demoCA, demoCA/private
       and demoCA/newcerts would be created. The CA certificate would be copied to
       demoCA/cacert.pem and its private key to demoCA/private/cakey.pem. A file
       demoCA/serial would be created containing for example "01" and the empty index file

       Sign a certificate request:

        openssl ca -in req.pem -out newcert.pem

       Sign a certificate request, using CA extensions:

        openssl ca -in req.pem -extensions v3_ca -out newcert.pem

       Generate a CRL

        openssl ca -gencrl -out crl.pem

       Sign several requests:

        openssl ca -infiles req1.pem req2.pem req3.pem

       Certify a Netscape SPKAC:

        openssl ca -spkac spkac.txt

       A sample SPKAC file (the SPKAC line has been truncated for clarity):

        CN=Steve Test
        emailAddress=steve AT
        0.OU=OpenSSL Group
        1.OU=Another Group

       A sample configuration file with the relevant sections for ca:

        [ ca ]
        default_ca      = CA_default            # The default ca section

        [ CA_default ]

        dir            = ./demoCA              # top dir
        database       = $dir/index.txt        # index file.
        new_certs_dir  = $dir/newcerts         # new certs dir

        certificate    = $dir/cacert.pem       # The CA cert
        serial         = $dir/serial           # serial no file
        private_key    = $dir/private/cakey.pem# CA private key
        RANDFILE       = $dir/private/.rand    # random number file

        default_days   = 365                   # how long to certify for
        default_crl_days= 30                   # how long before next CRL
        default_md     = md5                   # md to use

        policy         = policy_any            # default policy
        email_in_dn    = no                    # Don't add the email into cert DN

        name_opt       = ca_default            # Subject name display option
        cert_opt       = ca_default            # Certificate display option
        copy_extensions = none                 # Don't copy extensions from request

        [ policy_any ]
        countryName            = supplied
        stateOrProvinceName    = optional
        organizationName       = optional
        organizationalUnitName = optional
        commonName             = supplied
        emailAddress           = optional

       Note: the location of all files can change either by compile time options,
       configuration file entries, environment variables or command line options.  The
       values below reflect the default values.

        /usr/local/ssl/lib/openssl.cnf - master configuration file
        ./demoCA                       - main CA directory
        ./demoCA/cacert.pem            - CA certificate
        ./demoCA/private/cakey.pem     - CA private key
        ./demoCA/serial                - CA serial number file
        ./demoCA/serial.old            - CA serial number backup file
        ./demoCA/index.txt             - CA text database file
        ./demoCA/index.txt.old         - CA text database backup file
        ./demoCA/certs                 - certificate output file
        ./demoCA/.rnd                  - CA random seed information

       OPENSSL_CONF reflects the location of master configuration file it can be
       overridden by the -config command line option.

       The text database index file is a critical part of the process and if corrupted it
       can be difficult to fix. It is theoretically possible to rebuild the index file
       from all the issued certificates and a current CRL: however there is no option to
       do this.

       V2 CRL features like delta CRLs are not currently supported.

       Although several requests can be input and handled at once it is only possible to
       include one SPKAC or self signed certificate.

       The use of an in memory text database can cause problems when large numbers of
       certificates are present because, as the name implies the database has to be kept
       in memory.

       The ca command really needs rewriting or the required functionality exposed at
       either a command or interface level so a more friendly utility (perl script or GUI)
       can handle things properly. The scripts and help a little but not very

       Any fields in a request that are not present in a policy are silently deleted. This
       does not happen if the -preserveDN option is used. To enforce the absence of the
       EMAIL field within the DN, as suggested by RFCs, regardless the contents of the
       request' subject the -noemailDN option can be used. The behaviour should be more
       friendly and configurable.

       Cancelling some commands by refusing to certify a certificate can create an empty

       The ca command is quirky and at times downright unfriendly.

       The ca utility was originally meant as an example of how to do things in a CA. It
       was not supposed to be used as a full blown CA itself: nevertheless some people are
       using it for this purpose.

       The ca command is effectively a single user command: no locking is done on the
       various files and attempts to run more than one ca command on the same database can
       have unpredictable results.

       The copy_extensions option should be used with caution. If care is not taken then
       it can be a security risk. For example if a certificate request contains a
       basicConstraints extension with CA:TRUE and the copy_extensions value is set to
       copyall and the user does not spot this when the certificate is displayed then this
       will hand the requestor a valid CA certificate.

       This situation can be avoided by setting copy_extensions to copy and including
       basicConstraints with CA:FALSE in the configuration file.  Then if the request
       contains a basicConstraints extension it will be ignored.

       It is advisable to also include values for other extensions such as keyUsage to
       prevent a request supplying its own values.

       Additional restrictions can be placed on the CA certificate itself.  For example if
       the CA certificate has:

        basicConstraints = CA:TRUE, pathlen:0

       then even if a certificate is issued with CA:TRUE it will not be valid.

       req(1), spkac(1), x509(1),, config(5), x509v3_config(5)

1.0.1e                            2017-03-22                             CA(1)

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