CA.pl - friendlier interface for OpenSSL certificate programs
script is a perl script that supplies the relevant command line
arguments to the openssl
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.
- ?, -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". This argument invokes openssl req
- 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 command below the
- Is like -newreq except that the private key will not be encrypted.
Uses openssl req command.
- 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. openssl req and
openssl ca commands are get invoked.
- 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 command.
- -sign, -signcert, -xsign
- Calls the ca program 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. Leverages
openssl ca command.
- This option is the same as the -signreq 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 on to openssl ca command.
- 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 on to openssl x509 and openssl ca commands.
- Generate a CRL. Executes openssl ca command.
- -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 command.
- 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
- -extra-req | -extra-ca | -extra-pkcs12 |
-extra-x509 | -extra-verify <extra-params>
- The purpose of these parameters is to allow optional parameters to be
supplied to openssl that this command executes. The
-extra-cmd are specific to the option being used and the
openssl command getting invoked. For example when this command
invokes openssl req extra parameters can be passed on with the
-extra-req parameter. The openssl commands being invoked per
option are documented below. Users should consult openssl 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 -pkcs12 "My Test Certificate"
Although the CA.pl
creates RSA CAs and requests it is still possible to
use it with DSA certificates and requests using the req(1)
directly. The following example shows the steps that would typically be taken.
Create some DSA parameters:
openssl dsaparam -out dsap.pem 1024
Create a DSA CA certificate and private key:
openssl req -x509 -newkey dsa:dsap.pem -keyout cacert.pem -out cacert.pem
Create the CA directories and files:
enter cacert.pem when prompted for the CA file name.
Create a DSA certificate request and private key (a different set of parameters
can optionally be created first):
openssl req -out newreq.pem -newkey dsa:dsap.pem
Sign the request:
Most of the filenames mentioned can be modified by editing the CA.pl
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
option terminated abnormally. To get the correct behaviour
delete the demoCA directory if it already exists.
Under some environments it may not be possible to run the CA.pl
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 changed to point to
the correct path of the configuration file.
The script is intended as a simple front end for the openssl
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
Copyright 2000-2017 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.
Licensed under the OpenSSL license (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