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openssl-verify - certificate verification command


openssl verify [-help] [-CRLfile file] [-crl_download] [-show_chain] [-verbose] [-trusted file] [-untrusted file] [-vfyopt nm:v] [-nameopt option] [-CAfile file] [-no-CAfile] [-CApath dir] [-no-CApath] [-CAstore uri] [-no-CAstore] [-engine id] [-allow_proxy_certs] [-attime timestamp] [-no_check_time] [-check_ss_sig] [-crl_check] [-crl_check_all] [-explicit_policy] [-extended_crl] [-ignore_critical] [-inhibit_any] [-inhibit_map] [-partial_chain] [-policy arg] [-policy_check] [-policy_print] [-purpose purpose] [-suiteB_128] [-suiteB_128_only] [-suiteB_192] [-trusted_first] [-no_alt_chains] [-use_deltas] [-auth_level num] [-verify_depth num] [-verify_email email] [-verify_hostname hostname] [-verify_ip ip] [-verify_name name] [-x509_strict] [-issuer_checks] [-provider name] [-provider-path path] [-propquery propq] [--] [certificate ...]


This command verifies certificate chains.


Print out a usage message.
-CRLfile file
The file or URI should contain one or more CRLs in PEM or DER format. This option can be specified more than once to include CRLs from multiple files.
Attempt to download CRL information for certificates via their CDP entries.
Display information about the certificate chain that has been built (if successful). Certificates in the chain that came from the untrusted list will be flagged as "untrusted".
Print extra information about the operations being performed.
-trusted file
A file or URI of trusted certificates in PEM, DER, or PKCS#12 format. This option can be specified more than once to load certificates from multiple files.
-untrusted file
A file or URI of untrusted certificates in PEM, DER, or PKCS#12 format to use for chain building. This option can be specified more than once to load certificates from multiple files.
-vfyopt nm:v
Pass options to the signature algorithm during verify operations. Names and values of these options are algorithm-specific.
-nameopt option
This specifies how the subject or issuer names are displayed. See openssl-namedisplay-options(1) for details.
-engine id
See "Engine Options" in openssl(1). This option is deprecated.

To load certificates or CRLs that require engine support, specify the -engine option before any of the -trusted, -untrusted or -CRLfile options.

-CAfile file, -no-CAfile, -CApath dir, -no-CApath, -CAstore uri, -no-CAstore
See "Trusted Certificate Options" in openssl-verification-options(1) for details.
-allow_proxy_certs, -attime, -no_check_time, -check_ss_sig, -crl_check, -crl_check_all, -explicit_policy, -extended_crl, -ignore_critical, -inhibit_any, -inhibit_map, -no_alt_chains, -partial_chain, -policy, -policy_check, -policy_print, -purpose, -suiteB_128, -suiteB_128_only, -suiteB_192, -trusted_first, -use_deltas, -auth_level, -verify_depth, -verify_email, -verify_hostname, -verify_ip, -verify_name, -x509_strict -issuer_checks
Set various options of certificate chain verification. See "Verification Options" in openssl-verification-options(1) for details.
-provider name
-provider-path path
-propquery propq
See "Provider Options" in openssl(1).
Indicates the last option. All arguments following this are assumed to be certificate files. This is useful if the first certificate filename begins with a -.
certificate ...
One or more target certificates to verify. If no certificates are given, this command will attempt to read a certificate from standard input. If a certificate chain has multiple problems, this program attempts to display all of them.


When a verify operation fails the output messages can be somewhat cryptic. The general form of the error message is:

 server.pem: /C=AU/ST=Queensland/O=CryptSoft Pty Ltd/CN=Test CA (1024 bit)
 error 24 at 1 depth lookup:invalid CA certificate

The first line contains the name of the certificate being verified followed by the subject name of the certificate. The second line contains the error number and the depth. The depth is number of the certificate being verified when a problem was detected starting with zero for the target ("leaf") certificate itself then 1 for the CA that signed the target certificate and so on. Finally a textual version of the error number is presented.

A list of the error codes and messages can be found in X509_STORE_CTX_get_error(3); the full list is defined in the header file <openssl/x509_vfy.h>.

This command ignores many errors, in order to allow all the problems with a certificate chain to be determined.


Although the issuer checks are a considerable improvement over the old technique they still suffer from limitations in the underlying X509_LOOKUP API. One consequence of this is that trusted certificates with matching subject name must either appear in a file (as specified by the -CAfile option), a directory (as specified by -CApath), or a store (as specified by -CAstore). If they occur in more than one location then only the certificates in the file will be recognised.

Previous versions of OpenSSL assume certificates with matching subject name are identical and mishandled them.

Previous versions of this documentation swapped the meaning of the X509_V_ERR_UNABLE_TO_GET_ISSUER_CERT and X509_V_ERR_UNABLE_TO_GET_ISSUER_CERT_LOCALLY error codes.


openssl-verification-options(1), openssl-x509(1), ossl_store-file(7)


The -show_chain option was added in OpenSSL 1.1.0.

The -engine option was deprecated in OpenSSL 3.0.


Copyright 2000-2020 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the Apache License 2.0 (the "License"). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You can obtain a copy in the file LICENSE in the source distribution or at <>.

2021-04-07 3.0.0-alpha13