CA.pl - friendlier interface for OpenSSL certificate programs
CA.pl -? | -h | -help
CA.pl -newcert | -newreq | -newreq-nodes | -xsign | -sign | -signCA | -signcert | -crl | -newca [-extra-cmd parameter]
CA.pl -pkcs12 [certname]
CA.pl -verify certfile ...
CA.pl -revoke certfile [reason]
The CA.pl script is a perl script that supplies the relevant command line arguments to the openssl(1) command for some common certificate operations. It is intended to simplify the process of certificate creation and management by the use of some simple options.
The script is intended as a simple front end for the openssl(1) program for use by a beginner. Its behaviour isn't always what is wanted. For more control over the behaviour of the certificate commands call the openssl(1) command directly.
Most of the filenames mentioned below can be modified by editing the CA.pl script.
Under some environments it may not be possible to run the CA.pl script directly (for example Win32) and the default configuration file location may be wrong. In this case the command:
perl -S CA.pl
can be used and the OPENSSL_CONF environment variable can be set to point to the correct path of the configuration file.
- -?, -h, -help
- Prints a usage message.
- Creates a new self signed certificate. The private key is written to the file newkey.pem and the request written to the file newreq.pem. Invokes openssl-req(1).
- Creates a new certificate request. The private key is written to the file newkey.pem and the request written to the file newreq.pem. Executes openssl-req(1) under the hood.
- Is like -newreq except that the private key will not be encrypted. Uses openssl-req(1).
- Creates a new CA hierarchy for use with the ca program (or the
-signcert and -xsign options). The user is prompted to enter
the filename of the CA certificates (which should also contain the private
key) or by hitting ENTER details of the CA will be prompted for. The
relevant files and directories are created in a directory called
demoCA in the current directory. Uses openssl-req(1) and
If the demoCA directory already exists then the -newca command will not overwrite it and will do nothing. This can happen if a previous call using the -newca option terminated abnormally. To get the correct behaviour delete the directory if it already exists.
- Create a PKCS#12 file containing the user certificate, private key and CA certificate. It expects the user certificate and private key to be in the file newcert.pem and the CA certificate to be in the file demoCA/cacert.pem, it creates a file newcert.p12. This command can thus be called after the -sign option. The PKCS#12 file can be imported directly into a browser. If there is an additional argument on the command line it will be used as the "friendly name" for the certificate (which is typically displayed in the browser list box), otherwise the name "My Certificate" is used. Delegates work to openssl-pkcs12(1).
- -sign, -signcert, -xsign
- Calls the openssl-ca(1) command to sign a certificate request. It expects the request to be in the file newreq.pem. The new certificate is written to the file newcert.pem except in the case of the -xsign option when it is written to standard output.
- This option is the same as the -sign option except it uses the configuration file section v3_ca and so makes the signed request a valid CA certificate. This is useful when creating intermediate CA from a root CA. Extra params are passed to openssl-ca(1).
- This option is the same as -sign except it expects a self signed certificate to be present in the file newreq.pem. Extra params are passed to openssl-x509(1) and openssl-ca(1).
- Generate a CRL. Executes openssl-ca(1).
- -revoke certfile [reason]
- Revoke the certificate contained in the specified certfile. An optional reason may be specified, and must be one of: unspecified, keyCompromise, CACompromise, affiliationChanged, superseded, cessationOfOperation, certificateHold, or removeFromCRL. Leverages openssl-ca(1).
- Verifies certificates against the CA certificate for demoCA. If no certificates are specified on the command line it tries to verify the file newcert.pem. Invokes openssl-verify(1).
- -extra-cmd parameter
- For each option extra-cmd, pass parameter to the openssl(1) sub-command with the same name as cmd, if that sub-command is invoked. For example, if openssl-req(1) is invoked, the parameter given with -extra-req will be passed to it. For multi-word parameters, either repeat the option or quote the parameters so it looks like one word to your shell. See the individual command documentation for more information.
Create a CA hierarchy:
Complete certificate creation example: create a CA, create a request, sign the request and finally create a PKCS#12 file containing it.
CA.pl -newca CA.pl -newreq CA.pl -sign CA.pl -pkcs12 "My Test Certificate"
The environment variable OPENSSL may be used to specify the name of the OpenSSL program. It can be a full pathname, or a relative one.
The environment variable OPENSSL_CONFIG may be used to specify a configuration option and value to the req and ca commands invoked by this script. It's value should be the option and pathname, as in "-config /path/to/conf-file".
Copyright 2000-2021 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 <https://www.openssl.org/source/license.html>.