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PKCS8(1)                            OpenSSL                           PKCS8(1)



NAME
       pkcs8 - PKCS#8 format private key conversion tool

SYNOPSIS
       openssl pkcs8 [-topk8] [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-in filename] [-passin
       arg] [-out filename] [-passout arg] [-noiter] [-nocrypt] [-nooct] [-embed] [-nsdb]
       [-v2 alg] [-v1 alg] [-engine id]

DESCRIPTION
       The pkcs8 command processes private keys in PKCS#8 format. It can handle both
       unencrypted PKCS#8 PrivateKeyInfo format and EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo format with a
       variety of PKCS#5 (v1.5 and v2.0) and PKCS#12 algorithms.

COMMAND OPTIONS
       -topk8
           Normally a PKCS#8 private key is expected on input and a traditional format
           private key will be written. With the -topk8 option the situation is reversed:
           it reads a traditional format private key and writes a PKCS#8 format key.

       -inform DER|PEM
           This specifies the input format. If a PKCS#8 format key is expected on input
           then either a DER or PEM encoded version of a PKCS#8 key will be expected.
           Otherwise the DER or PEM format of the traditional format private key is used.

       -outform DER|PEM
           This specifies the output format, the options have the same meaning as the
           -inform option.

       -in filename
           This specifies the input filename to read a key from or standard input if this
           option is not specified. If the key is encrypted a pass phrase will be prompted
           for.

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

       -out filename
           This specifies the output filename to write a key to or standard output by
           default. If any encryption options are set then a pass phrase will be prompted
           for. The output filename should not be the same as the input filename.

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

       -nocrypt
           PKCS#8 keys generated or input are normally PKCS#8 EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo
           structures using an appropriate password based encryption algorithm. With this
           option an unencrypted PrivateKeyInfo structure is expected or output.  This
           option does not encrypt private keys at all and should only be used when
           absolutely necessary. Certain software such as some versions of Java code
           signing software used unencrypted private keys.

       -nooct
           This option generates RSA private keys in a broken format that some software
           uses. Specifically the private key should be enclosed in a OCTET STRING but
           some software just includes the structure itself without the surrounding OCTET
           STRING.

       -embed
           This option generates DSA keys in a broken format. The DSA parameters are
           embedded inside the PrivateKey structure. In this form the OCTET STRING
           contains an ASN1 SEQUENCE consisting of two structures: a SEQUENCE containing
           the parameters and an ASN1 INTEGER containing the private key.

       -nsdb
           This option generates DSA keys in a broken format compatible with Netscape
           private key databases. The PrivateKey contains a SEQUENCE consisting of the
           public and private keys respectively.

       -v2 alg
           This option enables the use of PKCS#5 v2.0 algorithms. Normally PKCS#8 private
           keys are encrypted with the password based encryption algorithm called
           pbeWithMD5AndDES-CBC this uses 56 bit DES encryption but it was the strongest
           encryption algorithm supported in PKCS#5 v1.5. Using the -v2 option PKCS#5 v2.0
           algorithms are used which can use any encryption algorithm such as 168 bit
           triple DES or 128 bit RC2 however not many implementations support PKCS#5 v2.0
           yet. If you are just using private keys with OpenSSL then this doesn't matter.

           The alg argument is the encryption algorithm to use, valid values include des,
           des3 and rc2. It is recommended that des3 is used.

       -v1 alg
           This option specifies a PKCS#5 v1.5 or PKCS#12 algorithm to use. A complete
           list of possible algorithms is included below.

       -engine id
           specifying an engine (by its unique id string) will cause pkcs8 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
           algorithms.

NOTES
       The encrypted form of a PEM encode PKCS#8 files uses the following headers and
       footers:

        -----BEGIN ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY-----
        -----END ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY-----

       The unencrypted form uses:

        -----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----
        -----END PRIVATE KEY-----

       Private keys encrypted using PKCS#5 v2.0 algorithms and high iteration counts are
       more secure that those encrypted using the traditional SSLeay compatible formats.
       So if additional security is considered important the keys should be converted.

       The default encryption is only 56 bits because this is the encryption that most
       current implementations of PKCS#8 will support.

       Some software may use PKCS#12 password based encryption algorithms with PKCS#8
       format private keys: these are handled automatically but there is no option to
       produce them.

       It is possible to write out DER encoded encrypted private keys in PKCS#8 format
       because the encryption details are included at an ASN1 level whereas the
       traditional format includes them at a PEM level.

PKCS#5 v1.5 and PKCS#12 algorithms.
       Various algorithms can be used with the -v1 command line option, including PKCS#5
       v1.5 and PKCS#12. These are described in more detail below.

       PBE-MD2-DES PBE-MD5-DES
           These algorithms were included in the original PKCS#5 v1.5 specification.  They
           only offer 56 bits of protection since they both use DES.

       PBE-SHA1-RC2-64 PBE-MD2-RC2-64 PBE-MD5-RC2-64 PBE-SHA1-DES
           These algorithms are not mentioned in the original PKCS#5 v1.5 specification
           but they use the same key derivation algorithm and are supported by some
           software. They are mentioned in PKCS#5 v2.0. They use either 64 bit RC2 or 56
           bit DES.

       PBE-SHA1-RC4-128 PBE-SHA1-RC4-40 PBE-SHA1-3DES PBE-SHA1-2DES PBE-SHA1-RC2-128
       PBE-SHA1-RC2-40
           These algorithms use the PKCS#12 password based encryption algorithm and allow
           strong encryption algorithms like triple DES or 128 bit RC2 to be used.

EXAMPLES
       Convert a private from traditional to PKCS#5 v2.0 format using triple DES:

        openssl pkcs8 -in key.pem -topk8 -v2 des3 -out enckey.pem

       Convert a private key to PKCS#8 using a PKCS#5 1.5 compatible algorithm (DES):

        openssl pkcs8 -in key.pem -topk8 -out enckey.pem

       Convert a private key to PKCS#8 using a PKCS#12 compatible algorithm (3DES):

        openssl pkcs8 -in key.pem -topk8 -out enckey.pem -v1 PBE-SHA1-3DES

       Read a DER unencrypted PKCS#8 format private key:

        openssl pkcs8 -inform DER -nocrypt -in key.der -out key.pem

       Convert a private key from any PKCS#8 format to traditional format:

        openssl pkcs8 -in pk8.pem -out key.pem

STANDARDS
       Test vectors from this PKCS#5 v2.0 implementation were posted to the pkcs-tng
       mailing list using triple DES, DES and RC2 with high iteration counts, several
       people confirmed that they could decrypt the private keys produced and Therefore it
       can be assumed that the PKCS#5 v2.0 implementation is reasonably accurate at least
       as far as these algorithms are concerned.

       The format of PKCS#8 DSA (and other) private keys is not well documented: it is
       hidden away in PKCS#11 v2.01, section 11.9. OpenSSL's default DSA PKCS#8 private
       key format complies with this standard.

BUGS
       There should be an option that prints out the encryption algorithm in use and other
       details such as the iteration count.

       PKCS#8 using triple DES and PKCS#5 v2.0 should be the default private key format
       for OpenSSL: for compatibility several of the utilities use the old format at
       present.

SEE ALSO
       dsa(1), rsa(1), genrsa(1), gendsa(1)



1.0.1e                            2013-02-11                          PKCS8(1)

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