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req(1) - req - PKCS#10 certificate request and certificate generating utility - man 1 req

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REQ(1)                              OpenSSL                             REQ(1)

       req - PKCS#10 certificate request and certificate generating utility.

       openssl req [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-in filename]
       [-passin arg] [-out filename] [-passout arg] [-text] [-pubkey] [-noout]
       [-verify] [-modulus] [-new] [-rand file(1,n)(s)] [-newkey rsa:bits] [-newkey
       dsa:file] [-nodes] [-key filename] [-keyform PEM|DER] [-keyout file-
       name] [-[md5(1,3,1 dgst)|sha1|md2|mdc2(1,3,1 dgst)]] [-config filename] [-subj arg] [-x509]
       [-days n] [-set_serial n] [-asn1-kludge] [-newhdr] [-extensions sec-
       tion] [-reqexts section] [-utf8] [-nameopt] [-batch] [-verbose]
       [-engine id]

       The req command primarily creates and processes certificate requests in(1,8)
       PKCS#10 format. It can additionally create self signed certificates for
       use as root CAs for example.

       -inform DER|PEM
           This specifies the input format. The DER option uses an ASN1 DER
           encoded form compatible with the PKCS#10. The PEM form is the
           default format: it consists of the DER format base64 encoded with
           additional header and footer lines.

       -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(2,n,1 builtins) a request from or stan-
           dard input if(3,n) this option is not specified. A request is only read(2,n,1 builtins)
           if(3,n) the creation options (-new and -newkey) are not specified.

       -passin arg
           the input file(1,n) password source. For more information about the for-
           mat of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS section in(1,8) openssl(1).

       -out filename
           This specifies the output filename to write(1,2) to or standard output
           by default.

       -passout arg
           the output file(1,n) password source. For more information about the
           format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS section in(1,8) openssl(1).

           prints out the certificate request in(1,8) text form.

           outputs the public key.

           this option prevents output of the encoded version(1,3,5) of the request.

           this option prints out the value of the modulus of the public key
           contained in(1,8) the request.

           verifies the signature on the request.

           this option generates a new certificate request. It will prompt the
           user for the relevant field values. The actual fields prompted for
           and their maximum and minimum sizes are specified in(1,8) the configura-
           tion file(1,n) and any requested extensions.

           If the -key option is not used it will generate a new RSA private
           key using information specified in(1,8) the configuration file.

       -rand file(1,n)(s)
           a file(1,n) or files containing random(3,4,6) data used to seed the random(3,4,6) num-
           ber generator, or an EGD socket(2,7,n) (see RAND_egd(3)).  Multiple files
           can be specified separated by a OS-dependent character.  The sepa-
           rator is ; for MS-Windows, , for OpenVMS, and : for all others.

       -newkey arg
           this option creates a new certificate request and a new private
           key. The argument takes one of two forms. rsa:nbits, where nbits is
           the number of bits, generates an RSA key nbits in(1,8) size. dsa:file-
           name generates a DSA key using the parameters in(1,8) the file(1,n) filename.

       -key filename
           This specifies the file(1,n) to read(2,n,1 builtins) the private key from. It also
           accepts PKCS#8 format private keys for PEM format files.

       -keyform PEM|DER
           the format of the private key file(1,n) specified in(1,8) the -key argument.
           PEM is the default.

       -keyout filename
           this gives the filename to write(1,2) the newly created private key to.
           If this option is not specified then the filename present in(1,8) the
           configuration file(1,n) is used.

           if(3,n) this option is specified then if(3,n) a private key is created it
           will not be encrypted.

       -[md5(1,3,1 dgst)|sha1|md2|mdc2(1,3,1 dgst)]
           this specifies the message digest to sign the request with. This
           overrides the digest algorithm specified in(1,8) the configuration file.
           This option is ignored for DSA requests: they always use SHA1.

       -config filename
           this allows an alternative configuration file(1,n) to be specified, this
           overrides the compile time(1,2,n) filename or any specified in(1,8) the
           OPENSSL_CONF environment variable.

       -subj arg
           sets subject name for new request or supersedes the subject name
           when processing a request.  The arg must be formatted as
           /type0=value0/type1=value1/type2=..., characters may be escaped by
           \ (backslash), no spaces are skipped.

           this option outputs a self signed certificate instead of a certifi-
           cate request. This is typically used to generate a test certificate
           or a self signed root CA. The extensions added to the certificate
           (if(3,n) any) are specified in(1,8) the configuration file. Unless specified
           using the set_serial option 0 will be used for the serial number.

       -days n
           when the -x509 option is being used this specifies the number of
           days to certify the certificate for. The default is 30 days.

       -set_serial n
           serial number to use when outputting a self signed certificate.
           This may be specified as a decimal value or a hex value if(3,n) preceded
           by 0x.  It is possible to use negative serial numbers but this is
           not recommended.

       -extensions section
       -reqexts section
           these options specify alternative sections to include certificate
           extensions (if(3,n) the -x509 option is present) or certificate request
           extensions. This allows several different sections to be used in(1,8)
           the same configuration file(1,n) to specify requests for a variety of

           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 config-
           uration file(1,n), must be valid UTF8 strings.

       -nameopt option
           option which determines how the subject or issuer names are dis-
           played. The option argument can be a single option or multiple
           options separated by commas.  Alternatively the -nameopt switch(1,n) may
           be used more than once to set(7,n,1 builtins) multiple options. See the x509(1)
           manual page for details.

           by default the req command outputs certificate requests containing
           no attributes in(1,8) the correct PKCS#10 format. However certain CAs
           will only accept(2,8) requests containing no attributes in(1,8) an invalid
           form: this option produces this invalid format.

           More precisely the Attributes in(1,8) a PKCS#10 certificate request are
           defined as a SET OF Attribute. They are not OPTIONAL so if(3,n) no
           attributes are present then they should be encoded as an empty SET
           OF. The invalid form does not include the empty SET OF whereas the
           correct form does.

           It should be noted that very few CAs still require the use of this

           Adds the word NEW to the PEM file(1,n) header and footer lines on the
           outputed request. Some software (Netscape certificate server) and
           some CAs need this.

           non-interactive mode.

           print extra details about the operations being performed.

       -engine id
           specifying an engine (by it's unique id string(3,n)) will cause req to
           attempt to obtain a functional reference to the specified engine,
           thus initialising it if(3,n) needed. The engine will then be set(7,n,1 builtins) as the
           default for all available algorithms.

       The configuration options are specified in(1,8) the req section of the con-
       figuration file. As with all configuration files if(3,n) no value is speci-
       fied in(1,8) the specific section (i.e. req) then the initial unnamed or
       default section is searched too.

       The options available are described in(1,8) detail below.

       input_password output_password
           The passwords for the input private key file(1,n) (if(3,n) present) and the
           output private key file(1,n) (if(3,n) one will be created). The command line
           options passin and passout override the configuration file(1,n) values.

           This specifies the default key size in(1,8) bits. If not specified then
           512 is used. It is used if(3,n) the -new option is used. It can be over-
           ridden by using the -newkey option.

           This is the default filename to write(1,2) a private key to. If not
           specified the key is written to standard output. This can be over-
           ridden by the -keyout option.

           This specifies a file(1,n) containing additional OBJECT IDENTIFIERS.
           Each line of the file(1,n) should consist of the numerical form of the
           object identifier followed by white space then the short name fol-
           lowed by white space and finally the long name.

           This specifies a section in(1,8) the configuration file(1,n) 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.

           This specifies a filename in(1,8) which random(3,4,6) number seed information
           is placed and read(2,n,1 builtins) from, or an EGD socket(2,7,n) (see RAND_egd(3)).  It is
           used for private key generation.

           If this is set(7,n,1 builtins) to no then if(3,n) a private key is generated it is not
           encrypted. This is equivalent to the -nodes command line option.
           For compatibility encrypt_rsa_key is an equivalent option.

           This option specifies the digest algorithm to use. Possible values
           include md5(1,3,1 dgst) sha1 mdc2(1,3,1 dgst). If not present then MD5 is used. This option
           can be overridden on the command line.

           This option masks out the use of certain string(3,n) types in(1,8) certain
           fields. Most users(1,5) will not need to change this option.

           It can be set(7,n,1 builtins) to several values default which is also the default
           option uses PrintableStrings, T61Strings and BMPStrings if(3,n) the pkix
           value is used then only PrintableStrings and BMPStrings will be
           used. This follows the PKIX recommendation in(1,8) RFC2459. If the
           utf8only option is used then only UTF8Strings will be used: this is
           the PKIX recommendation in(1,8) RFC2459 after 2003. Finally the nombstr
           option just uses PrintableStrings and T61Strings: certain software
           has problems with BMPStrings and UTF8Strings: in(1,8) particular

           this specifies the configuration file(1,n) section containing a list of
           extensions to add to the certificate request. It can be overridden
           by the -reqexts command line switch.

           this specifies the configuration file(1,n) section containing a list of
           extensions to add to certificate generated when the -x509 switch(1,n) is
           used. It can be overridden by the -extensions command line switch.

           if(3,n) set(7,n,1 builtins) to the value no this disables prompting of certificate
           fields and just takes values from the config(1,5) file(1,n) directly. It also
           changes the expected format of the distinguished_name and
           attributes sections.

           if(3,n) set(7,n,1 builtins) to the value yes then 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(1,n), must be valid UTF8 strings.

           this specifies the section containing any request attributes: its
           format is the same as distinguished_name. Typically these may con-
           tain the challengePassword or unstructuredName types. They are cur-
           rently ignored by OpenSSL's request signing utilities but some CAs
           might want them.

           This specifies the section containing the distinguished name fields
           to prompt for when generating a certificate or certificate request.
           The format is described in(1,8) the next section.

       There are two separate formats for the distinguished name and attribute
       sections. If the prompt option is set(7,n,1 builtins) to no then these sections just
       consist of field names and values: for example,

        CN=My Name
        OU=My Organization

       This allows external programs (e.g. GUI based) to generate a template
       file(1,n) with all the field names and values and just pass it to req. An
       example of this kind of configuration file(1,n) is contained in(1,8) the EXAMPLES

       Alternatively if(3,n) the prompt option is absent or not set(7,n,1 builtins) to no then the
       file(1,n) contains field prompting information. It consists of lines of the

        fieldName_default="default field value"
        fieldName_min= 2
        fieldName_max= 4

       "fieldName" is the field name being used, for example commonName (or
       CN).  The "prompt" string(3,n) is used to ask the user to enter the relevant
       details. If the user enters nothing then the default value is used if(3,n)
       no default value is present then the field is omitted. A field can
       still be omitted if(3,n) a default value is present if(3,n) the user just enters
       the '.' character.

       The number of characters entered must be between the fieldName_min and
       fieldName_max limits: there may be additional restrictions based on the
       field being used (for example countryName can only ever be two charac-
       ters long and must fit in(1,8) a PrintableString).

       Some fields (such as organizationName) can be used more than once in(1,8) a
       DN. This presents a problem because configuration files will not recog-
       nize the same name occurring twice. To avoid this problem if(3,n) the field-
       Name contains some characters followed by a full stop they will be
       ignored. So for example a second organizationName can be input by call-
       ing it "1.organizationName".

       The actual permitted field names are any object identifier short or
       long names. These are compiled into OpenSSL and include the usual val-
       ues such as commonName, countryName, localityName, organizationName,
       organizationUnitName, stateOrProvinceName. Additionally emailAddress is
       include as well as name, surname, givenName initials and dnQualifier.

       Additional object identifiers can be defined with the oid_file or
       oid_section options in(1,8) the configuration file. Any additional fields
       will be treated as though they were a DirectoryString.

       Examine and verify(1,8) certificate request:

        openssl req -in req.pem -text -verify -noout

       Create a private key and then generate a certificate request from it:

        openssl genrsa -out key.pem 1024
        openssl req -new -key key.pem -out req.pem

       The same but just using req:

        openssl req -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout key.pem -out req.pem

       Generate a self signed root certificate:

        openssl req -x509 -newkey rsa:1024 -keyout key.pem -out req.pem

       Example of a file(1,n) pointed to by the oid_file option:        shortName       A longer Name        otherName       Other longer Name

       Example of a section pointed to by oid_section making use of variable


       Sample configuration file(1,n) prompting for field values:

        [ req ]
        default_bits           = 1024
        default_keyfile        = privkey.pem
        distinguished_name     = req_distinguished_name
        attributes             = req_attributes
        x509_extensions        = v3_ca

        dirstring_type = nobmp

        [ req_distinguished_name ]
        countryName                    = Country Name (2 letter code)
        countryName_default            = AU
        countryName_min                = 2
        countryName_max                = 2

        localityName                   = Locality Name (eg, city)

        organizationalUnitName         = Organizational Unit Name (eg, section)

        commonName                     = Common Name (eg, YOUR name)
        commonName_max                 = 64

        emailAddress                   = Email Address
        emailAddress_max               = 40

        [ req_attributes ]
        challengePassword              = A challenge password
        challengePassword_min          = 4
        challengePassword_max          = 20

        [ v3_ca ]

        basicConstraints = CA:true

       Sample configuration containing all field values:

        RANDFILE               = $ENV::HOME/.rnd

        [ req ]
        default_bits           = 1024
        default_keyfile        = keyfile.pem
        distinguished_name     = req_distinguished_name
        attributes             = req_attributes
        prompt                 = no
        output_password        = mypass

        [ req_distinguished_name ]
        C                      = GB
        ST                     = Test State or Province
        L                      = Test Locality
        O                      = Organization Name
        OU                     = Organizational Unit Name
        CN                     = Common Name
        emailAddress           = test@email.address

        [ req_attributes ]
        challengePassword              = A challenge password

       The header and footer lines in(1,8) the PEM format are normally:


       some software (some versions of Netscape certificate server) instead


       which is produced with the -newhdr option but is otherwise compatible.
       Either form is accepted transparently on input.

       The certificate requests generated by Xenroll with MSIE have extensions
       added. It includes the keyUsage extension which determines the type of
       key (signature only or general purpose) and any additional OIDs entered
       by the script in(1,8) an extendedKeyUsage extension.

       The following messages are frequently asked about:

               Using configuration from /some/path/openssl.cnf
               Unable to load(7,n) config(1,5) info(1,5,n)

       This is followed some time(1,2,n) later by...

               unable to find 'distinguished_name' in(1,8) config(1,5)
               problems making Certificate Request

       The first error(8,n) message is the clue: it can't find the configuration
       file(1,n)! Certain operations (like examining a certificate request) don't
       need a configuration file(1,n) so its use isn't enforced. Generation of cer-
       tificates or requests however does need a configuration file. This
       could be regarded as a bug.

       Another puzzling message is this:


       this is displayed when no attributes are present and the request
       includes the correct empty SET OF structure (the DER encoding(3,n) of which
       is 0xa0 0x00). If you just see:


       then the SET OF is missing and the encoding(3,n) is technically invalid (but
       it is tolerated). See the description of the command line option
       -asn1-kludge for more information.

       The variable OPENSSL_CONF if(3,n) defined allows an alternative configura-
       tion file(1,n) location to be specified, it will be overridden by the -con-
       fig command line switch(1,n) if(3,n) it is present. For compatibility reasons the
       SSLEAY_CONF environment variable serves the same purpose but its use is

       OpenSSL's handling of T61Strings (aka TeletexStrings) is broken: it
       effectively treats them as ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1), Netscape and MSIE have
       similar behaviour.  This can cause problems if(3,n) you need characters that
       aren't available in(1,8) PrintableStrings and you don't want to or can't use

       As a consequence of the T61String handling the only correct way to rep-
       resent accented characters in(1,8) OpenSSL is to use a BMPString: unfortu-
       nately Netscape currently chokes on these. If you have to use accented
       characters with Netscape and MSIE then you currently need to use the
       invalid T61String form.

       The current prompting is not very friendly. It doesn't allow you to
       confirm what you've just entered. Other things like extensions in(1,8) cer-
       tificate requests are statically defined in(1,8) the configuration file.
       Some of these: like an email address in(1,8) subjectAltName should be input
       by the user.

       x509(1), ca(1), genrsa(1), gendsa(1), config(1,5)(5)

0.9.7d                            2003-01-30                            REQ(1)

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