NSS tools : certutil

   certutil — Manage keys and certificate in both NSS databases and other NSS tokens
   certutil [options] [[arguments]]
   The Certificate Database Tool, certutil, is a command-line utility
   that can create and modify certificate and key databases.
   It can specifically list, generate, modify, or delete certificates, create or
   change the password, generate new public and private key pairs,
   display the contents of the key database, or delete key pairs within  the key database.
   Certificate issuance, part of the key and certificate management process, requires that
   keys and certificates be created in the key database. This document discusses certificate
   and key database management. For information on the  security module database management,
   see the modutil manpage.
Options and Arguments
   Running certutil always requires one and only one command option to
   specify the type of certificate operation. Each option may take arguments,
   anywhere from none to multiple arguments. The command option -H will list
   all the command options available and their relevant arguments.
   Command Options
          Add an existing certificate to a certificate database.
          The certificate database should already exist; if one is
          not present, this command option will initialize one by default.
          Run a series of commands from the specified batch file.
          This requires the -i argument.
          Create a new binary certificate file from a binary
          certificate request file. Use the -i argument to specify
          the certificate request file. If this argument is not
          used, certutil prompts for a filename.
          Delete a certificate from the certificate database.
         Change the database nickname of a certificate.

          Add an email certificate to the certificate database.
          Delete a private key from a key database. Specify the
          key to delete with the -n argument. Specify the database
          from which to delete the key with the -d argument. Use
          the -k argument to specify explicitly whether to delete
          a DSA, RSA, or ECC key. If you don’t use the -k
          argument, the option looks for an RSA key matching the
          specified nickname.
          When you delete keys, be sure to also remove any
          certificates associated with those keys from the
          certificate database, by using -D. Some smart cards (for
          example, the Litronic card) do not let you remove a
          public key you have generated. In such a case, only the
          private key is deleted from the key pair. You can
          display the public key with the command certutil -K -h
          Generate a new public and private key pair within a key
          database. The key database should already exist; if one
          is not present, this option will initialize one by
          default. Some smart cards (for example, the Litronic
          card) can store only one key pair. If you create a new
          key pair for such a card, the previous pair is
          Display a list of the options and arguments used by the
          Certificate Database Tool.
          List the key ID of keys in the key database. A key ID is
          the modulus of the RSA key or the publicValue of the DSA
          key. IDs are displayed in hexadecimal (“0x” is not
          List all the certificates, or display information about
          a named certificate, in a certificate database. Use the
          -h tokenname argument to specify the certificate
          database on a particular hardware or software token.
          Modify a certificate’s trust attributes using the values
          of the -t argument.
          Create new certificate and key databases.
          Print the certificate chain.
          Create a certificate request file that can be submitted
          to a Certificate Authority (CA) for processing into a
          finished certificate. Output defaults to standard out
          unless you use -o output-file argument. Use the -a
          argument to specify ASCII output.
          Create an individual certificate and add it to a
          certificate database.
          Reset the key database or token.
          List all available modules or print a single named
          Check the validity of a certificate and its attributes.
          Change the password to a key database.
          Merge two databases into one.
          Upgrade an old database and merge it into a new
          database. This is used to migrate legacy NSS databases
          (cert8.db and key3.db) into the newer SQLite databases
          (cert9.db and key4.db).
   Arguments modify a command option and are usually lower case, numbers, or symbols.
          Use ASCII format or allow the use of ASCII format for
          input or output. This formatting follows RFC 1113. For
          certificate requests, ASCII output defaults to standard
          output unless redirected.
   -b validity-time
          Specify a time at which a certificate is required to be
          valid. Use when checking certificate validity with the
          -V option. The format of the validity-time argument is
          YYMMDDHHMMSS[+HHMM|-HHMM|Z], which allows offsets to be
          set relative to the validity end time. Specifying
          seconds (SS) is optional. When specifying an explicit
          time, use a Z at the end of the term, YYMMDDHHMMSSZ, to
          close it. When specifying an offset time, use
          subtracting time, respectively.
          If this option is not used, the validity check defaults
          to the current system time.
   -c issuer
          Identify the certificate of the CA from which a new
          certificate will derive its authenticity. Use the exact
          nickname or alias of the CA certificate, or use the CA’s
          email address. Bracket the issuer string with quotation
          marks if it contains spaces.
   -d [prefix]directory
          Specify the database directory containing the
          certificate and key database files.
          certutil supports two types of databases: the legacy
          security databases (cert8.db, key3.db, and secmod.db)
          and new SQLite databases (cert9.db, key4.db, and

           NSS recognizes the following prefixes:

           ·   sql: requests the newer database

           ·   dbm: requests the legacy database

           If no prefix is specified the default type is retrieved from NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE. If NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE is not set
           then dbm: is the default.
    –dump-ext-val OID
           For single cert, print binary DER encoding of extension OID.
          Check a certificate’s signature during the process of
          validating a certificate.
       –email email-address
           Specify the email address of a certificate to list. Used with the -L command option.
       –extGeneric OID:critical-flag:filename[,OID:critical-flag:filename]…
           Add one or multiple extensions that certutil cannot encode yet, by loading their encodings from external files.

           ·   OID (example):

           ·   critical-flag: critical or not-critical

           ·   filename: full path to a file containing an encoded extension

   -f password-file
          Specify a file that will automatically supply the
          password to include in a certificate or to access a
          certificate database. This is a plain-text file
          containing one password. Be sure to prevent unauthorized
          access to this file.
   -g keysize
          Set a key size to use when generating new public and
          private key pairs. The minimum is 512 bits and the
          maximum is 16384 bits. The default is 2048 bits. Any size
          between the minimum and maximum is allowed.
   -h tokenname
          Specify the name of a token to use or act on. Unless
          specified otherwise the default token is an internal
   -i input_file
          Pass an input file to the command. Depending on the
          command option, an input file can be a specific
          certificate, a certificate request file, or a batch file
          of commands.
   -k rsa|dsa|ec|all
          Specify the type of a key. The valid options are RSA,
          DSA, ECC, or all. The default value is rsa. Specifying
          the type of key can avoid mistakes caused by duplicate
   -k key-type-or-id
           Specify the type or specific ID of a key.
           The valid key type options are rsa, dsa, ec, or all. The default value is rsa. Specifying the type of key can avoid
           mistakes caused by duplicate nicknames. Giving a key type generates a new key pair; giving the ID of an existing key
           reuses that key pair (which is required to renew certificates).
          Display detailed information when validating a
          certificate with the -V option.
   -m serial-number
          Assign a unique serial number to a certificate being created. This operation should be performed by a CA. If no
           serial number is provided a default serial number is made from the current time. Serial numbers are limited to
   -n nickname
          Specify the nickname of a certificate or key to list,
          create, add to a database, modify, or validate. Bracket
          the nickname string with quotation marks if it contains
   -o output-file
          Specify the output file name for new certificates or
          binary certificate requests. Bracket the output-file
          string with quotation marks if it contains spaces. If
          this argument is not used the output destination
          defaults to standard output.
   -P dbPrefix
          Specify the prefix used on the certificate and key
          database file. This argument is provided to support
          legacy servers. Most applications do not use a database prefix.
   -p phone
          Specify a contact telephone number to include in new
          certificates or certificate requests. Bracket this
          string with quotation marks if it contains spaces.
   -q pqgfile or curve-name
           Read an alternate PQG value from the specified file when generating DSA key pairs.
           If this argument is not used,certutil generates its own PQG value. PQG files are created with a separate DSA utility.

           Elliptic curve name is one of the ones from SUITE B: nistp256, nistp384, nistp521

           If NSS has been compiled with support curves outside of SUITE B: sect163k1, nistk163, sect163r1, sect163r2, nistb163,
           sect193r1, sect193r2, sect233k1, nistk233, sect233r1, nistb233, sect239k1, sect283k1, nistk283, sect283r1, nistb283,
           sect409k1, nistk409, sect409r1, nistb409, sect571k1, nistk571, sect571r1, nistb571, secp160k1, secp160r1, secp160r2,
           secp192k1, secp192r1, nistp192, secp224k1, secp224r1, nistp224, secp256k1, secp256r1, secp384r1, secp521r1,
           prime192v1, prime192v2, prime192v3, prime239v1, prime239v2, prime239v3, c2pnb163v1, c2pnb163v2, c2pnb163v3,
           c2pnb176v1, c2tnb191v1, c2tnb191v2, c2tnb191v3, c2pnb208w1, c2tnb239v1, c2tnb239v2, c2tnb239v3, c2pnb272w1,
           c2pnb304w1, c2tnb359w1, c2pnb368w1, c2tnb431r1, secp112r1, secp112r2, secp128r1, secp128r2, sect113r1, sect113r2
           sect131r1, sect131r2

          Display a certificate’s binary DER encoding when listing
          information about that certificate with the -L option.
   -s subject
          Identify a particular certificate owner for new
          certificates or certificate requests. Bracket this
          string with quotation marks if it contains spaces. The
          subject identification format follows RFC #1485.
   -t trustargs
          Specify the trust attributes to modify in an existing
          certificate or to apply to a certificate when creating
          it or adding it to a database. There are three available
          trust categories for each certificate, expressed in the
          order SSL, email, object signing for each trust setting.
          In each category position, use none, any, or all of the
          attribute codes:
          + p - Valid peer
          + P - Trusted peer (implies p)
          + c - Valid CA
          + T - Trusted CA to issue client certificates (implies
          + C - Trusted CA to issue server certificates (SSL only)
            (implies c)
          + u - Certificate can be used for authentication or
          + w - Send warning (use with other attributes to include
            a warning when the certificate is used in that
          The attribute codes for the categories are separated by
          commas, and the entire set of attributes enclosed by
          quotation marks. For example:
          -t “TC,C,T”
          Use the -L option to see a list of the current
          certificates and trust attributes in a certificate
           Note that the output of the -L option may include “u” flag, which means that there is a private key associated with
           the certificate. It is a dynamic flag and you cannot set it with certutil.
   -u certusage
          Specify a usage context to apply when validating a
          certificate with the -V option.
          The contexts are the following:

           ·   C (as an SSL client)

           ·   V (as an SSL server)

           ·   L (as an SSL CA)

           ·   A (as Any CA)

           ·   Y (Verify CA)

           ·   S (as an email signer)

           ·   R (as an email recipient)

           ·   O (as an OCSP status responder)

           ·   J (as an object signer)

   -v valid-months
          Set the number of months a new certificate will be
          valid. The validity period begins at the current system
          time unless an offset is added or subtracted with the -w
          option. If this argument is not used, the default
          validity period is three months. When this argument is
          used, the default three-month period is automatically
          added to any value given in the valid-month argument.
          For example, using this option to set a value of 3 would
          cause 3 to be added to the three-month default, creating
          a validity period of six months. You can use negative
          values to reduce the default period. For example,
          setting a value of -2 would subtract 2 from the default
          and create a validity period of one month.
   -w offset-months
          Set an offset from the current system time, in months,
          for the beginning of a certificate’s validity period.
          Use when creating the certificate or adding it to a
          database. Express the offset in integers, using a minus
          sign (-) to indicate a negative offset. If this argument
          is not used, the validity period begins at the current
          system time. The length of the validity period is set
          with the -v argument.
          Force the key and certificate database to open in
          read-write mode. This is used with the -U and -L command
          Use certutil to generate the signature for a certificate
          being created or added to a database, rather than
          obtaining a signature from a separate CA.
   -y exp
          Set an alternate exponent value to use in generating a
          new RSA public key for the database, instead of the
          default value of 65537. The available alternate values
          are 3 and 17.
   -z noise-file
          Read a seed value from the specified file to generate a
          new private and public key pair. This argument makes it
          possible to use hardware-generated seed values or
          manually create a value from the keyboard. The minimum
          file size is 20 bytes.
   -0 SSO_password
          Set a site security officer password on a token.
   -1 | –keyUsage keyword,keyword
          Set a Netscape Certificate Type Extension in the
          certificate. There are several available keywords:
          + digital signature
          + nonRepudiation
          + keyEncipherment
          + dataEncipherment
          + keyAgreement
          + certSigning
          + crlSigning
          + critical
          Add a basic constraint extension to a certificate that
          is being created or added to a database. This extension
          supports the certificate chain verification process.
          certutil prompts for the certificate constraint
          extension to select.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
          Add an authority key ID extension to a certificate that
          is being created or added to a database. This extension
          supports the identification of a particular certificate,
          from among multiple certificates associated with one
          subject name, as the correct issuer of a certificate.
          The Certificate Database Tool will prompt you to select
          the authority key ID extension.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
          Add a CRL distribution point extension to a certificate
          that is being created or added to a database. This
          extension identifies the URL of a certificate’s
          associated certificate revocation list (CRL). certutil
          prompts for the URL.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
   -5 | –nsCertType keyword,keyword
          Add a Netscape certificate type extension to a
          certificate that is being created or added to the
          database. There are several available keywords:
          + sslClient
          + sslServer
          + smime
          + objectSigning
          + sslCA
          + smimeCA
          + objectSigningCA
          + critical
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
   -6 | –extKeyUsage keyword,keyword
          Add an extended key usage extension to a certificate
          that is being created or added to the database. Several
          keywords are available:
          + serverAuth
          + clientAuth
          + codeSigning
          + emailProtection
          + timeStamp
          + ocspResponder
          + stepUp
          + critical
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
   -7 emailAddrs
          Add a comma-separated list of email addresses to the
          subject alternative name extension of a certificate or
          certificate request that is being created or added to
          the database. Subject alternative name extensions are
          described in Section of RFC 3280.
   -8 dns-names
          Add a comma-separated list of DNS names to the subject
          alternative name extension of a certificate or
          certificate request that is being created or added to
          the database. Subject alternative name extensions are
          described in Section of RFC 3280.
          Add the Authority Information Access extension to the
          certificate. X.509 certificate extensions are described
          in RFC 5280.
          Add the Subject Information Access extension to the
          certificate. X.509 certificate extensions are described
          in RFC 5280.
          Add the Certificate Policies extension to the
          certificate. X.509 certificate extensions are described
          in RFC 5280.
          Add the Policy Mappings extension to the certificate.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
          Add the Policy Constraints extension to the certificate.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
          Add the Inhibit Any Policy Access extension to the
          certificate. X.509 certificate extensions are described
          in RFC 5280.
          Add the Subject Key ID extension to the certificate.
          X.509 certificate extensions are described in RFC 5280.
   –source-dir certdir
          Identify the certificate database directory to upgrade.
   –source-prefix certdir
          Give the prefix of the certificate and key databases to
   –upgrade-id uniqueID
          Give the unique ID of the database to upgrade.
   –upgrade-token-name name
          Set the name of the token to use while it is being
   -@ pwfile
          Give the name of a password file to use for the database
          being upgraded.
Usage and Examples
   Most of the command options in the examples listed here have
   more arguments available. The arguments included in these
   examples are the most common ones or are used to illustrate a
   specific scenario. Use the -H option to show the complete list
   of arguments for each command option.
   Creating New Security Databases
   Certificates, keys, and security modules related to managing
   certificates are stored in three related databases:
     * cert8.db or cert9.db
     * key3.db or key4.db
     * secmod.db or pkcs11.txt
   These databases must be created before certificates or keys can
   be generated.
certutil -N -d [sql:]directory
   Creating a Certificate Request
   A certificate request contains most or all of the information
   that is used to generate the final certificate. This request is
   submitted separately to a certificate authority and is then
   approved by some mechanism (automatically or by human review).
   Once the request is approved, then the certificate is
$ certutil -R -k key-type-or-id [-q pqgfile|curve-name] -g key-size -s s
ubject [-h tokenname] -d [sql:]directory [-p phone] [-o output-file] [-a
   The -R command options requires four arguments:
     * -k to specify either the key type to generate or, when
       renewing a certificate, the existing key pair to use
     * -g to set the keysize of the key to generate
     * -s to set the subject name of the certificate
     * -d to give the security database directory
   The new certificate request can be output in ASCII format (-a)
   or can be written to a specified file (-o).
   For example:
$ certutil -R -k ec -q nistb409 -g 512 -s “CN=John Smith,O=Example Corp,
L=Mountain View,ST=California,C=US” -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -p 650-5
55-0123 -a -o cert.cer
Generating key.  This may take a few moments…
Certificate request generated by Netscape
Phone: 650-555-0123
Common Name: John Smith
Email: (not ed)
Organization: Example Corp
State: California
Country: US
   Creating a Certificate
   A valid certificate must be issued by a trusted CA. This can be
   done by specifying a CA certificate (-c) that is stored in the
   certificate database. If a CA key pair is not available, you
   can create a self-signed certificate using the -x argument with
   the -S command option.
$ certutil -S -k rsa|dsa|ec -n certname -s subject [-c issuer |-x] -t tr
ustargs -d [sql:]directory [-m serial-number] [-v valid-months] [-w offs
et-months] [-p phone] [-1] [-2] [-3] [-4] [-5 keyword] [-6 keyword] [-7
emailAddress] [-8 dns-names] [–extAIA] [–extSIA] [–extCP] [–extPM] [
–extPC] [–extIA] [–extSKID]
   The series of numbers and –ext* options set certificate
   extensions that can be added to the certificate when it is
   generated by the CA.
   For example, this creates a self-signed certificate:
$ certutil -S -s “CN=Example CA” -n my-ca-cert -x -t “C,C,C” -1 -2 -5 -m
   From there, new certificates can reference the self-signed
$ certutil -S -s “CN=My Server Cert” -n my-server-cert -c “my-ca-cert” -
t “u,u,u” -1 -5 -6 -8 -m 730
   Generating a Certificate from a Certificate Request
   When a certificate request is created, a certificate can be
   generated by using the request and then referencing a
   certificate authority signing certificate (the issuer specified
   in the -c argument). The issuing certificate must be in the
   certificate database in the specified directory.
certutil -C -c issuer -i cert-request-file -o output-file [-m serial-num
ber] [-v valid-months] [-w offset-months] -d [sql:]directory [-1] [-2] [
-3] [-4] [-5 keyword] [-6 keyword] [-7 emailAddress] [-8 dns-names]
   For example:
$ certutil -C -c “my-ca-cert” -i /home/certs/cert.req -o cert.cer -m 010
 -v 12 -w 1 -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -1 nonRepudiation,dataEncipherme
nt -5 sslClient -6 clientAuth -7 jsmith@example.com
   Generating Key Pairs
   Key pairs are generated automatically with a certificate
   request or certificate, but they can also be generated
   independently using the -G command option.
certutil -G -d [sql:]directory | -h tokenname -k key-type -g key-size [-
y exponent-value] -q pqgfile|curve-name
   For example:
$ certutil -G -h lunasa -k ec -g 256 -q sect193r2
   Listing Certificates
   The -L command option lists all of the certificates listed in
   the certificate database. The path to the directory (-d) is
$ certutil -L -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attri
CA Administrator of Instance pki-ca1’s Example Domain ID     u,u,u
TPS Administrator’s Example Domain ID                        u,u,u
Google Internet Authority                                    ,,
Certificate Authority - Example Domain                       CT,C,C
   Using additional arguments with -L can return and print the
   information for a single, specific certificate. For example,
   the -n argument passes the certificate name, while the -a
   argument prints the certificate in ASCII format:
$ certutil -L -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -a -n “Certificate Authority -
 Example Domain”
   Listing Keys
   Keys are the original material used to encrypt certificate
   data. The keys generated for certificates are stored
   separately, in the key database.
   To list all keys in the database, use the -K command option and
   the (required) -d argument to give the path to the directory.
$ certutil -K -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
certutil: Checking token “NSS Certificate DB” in slot “NSS User Private
Key and Certificate Services                  “
< 0> rsa      455a6673bde9375c2887ec8bf8016b3f9f35861d   Thawte Freemail
 Member’s Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd. ID
< 1> rsa      40defeeb522ade11090eacebaaf1196a172127df   Example Domain
Administrator Cert
< 2> rsa      1d0b06f44f6c03842f7d4f4a1dc78b3bcd1b85a5   John Smith user
   There are ways to narrow the keys listed in the search results:
     * To return a specific key, use the -n name argument with the
       name of the key.
     * If there are multiple security devices loaded, then the -h
       tokenname argument can search a specific token or all
     * If there are multiple key types available, then the -k
       key-type argument can search a specific type of key, like
       RSA, DSA, or ECC.
   Listing Security Modules
   The devices that can be used to store certificates – both
   internal databases and external devices like smart cards – are
   recognized and used by loading security modules. The -U command
   option lists all of the security modules listed in the
   secmod.db database. The path to the directory (-d) is required.
$ certutil -U -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
    slot: NSS User Private Key and Certificate Services
   token: NSS Certificate DB
    slot: NSS Internal Cryptographic Services
   token: NSS Generic Crypto Services
   Adding Certificates to the Database
   Existing certificates or certificate requests can be added
   manually to the certificate database, even if they were
   generated elsewhere. This uses the -A command option.
certutil -A -n certname -t trustargs -d [sql:]directory [-a] [-i input-f
   For example:
$ certutil -A -n “CN=My SSL Certificate” -t “u,u,u” -d sql:/home/my/shar
ednssdb -i /home/example-certs/cert.cer
   A related command option, -E, is used specifically to add email
   certificates to the certificate database. The -E command has
   the same arguments as the -A command. The trust arguments for
   certificates have the format SSL,S/MIME,Code-signing, so the
   middle trust settings relate most to email certificates (though
   the others can be set). For example:
$ certutil -E -n “CN=John Smith Email Cert” -t “,Pu,” -d sql:/home/my/sh
arednssdb -i /home/example-certs/email.cer
   Deleting Certificates to the Database
   Certificates can be deleted from a database using the -D
   option. The only required options are to give the security
   database directory and to identify the certificate nickname.
certutil -D -d [sql:]directory -n “nickname”
   For example:
$ certutil -D -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -n “my-ssl-cert”
   Validating Certificates
   A certificate contains an expiration date in itself, and
   expired certificates are easily rejected. However, certificates
   can also be revoked before they hit their expiration date.
   Checking whether a certificate has been revoked requires
   validating the certificate. Validation can also be used to
   ensure that the certificate is only used for the purposes it
   was initially issued for. Validation is carried out by the -V
   command option.
certutil -V -n certificate-name [-b time] [-e] [-u cert-usage] -d [sql:]
   For example, to validate an email certificate:
$ certutil -V -n “John Smith’s Email Cert” -e -u S,R -d sql:/home/my/sha
   Modifying Certificate Trust Settings
   The trust settings (which relate to the operations that a
   certificate is allowed to be used for) can be changed after a
   certificate is created or added to the database. This is
   especially useful for CA certificates, but it can be performed
   for any type of certificate.
certutil -M -n certificate-name -t trust-args -d [sql:]directory
   For example:
$ certutil -M -n “My CA Certificate” -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -t “CTu
   Printing the Certificate Chain
   Certificates can be issued in chains because every certificate
   authority itself has a certificate; when a CA issues a
   certificate, it essentially stamps that certificate with its
   own fingerprint. The -O prints the full chain of a certificate,
   going from the initial CA (the root CA) through ever
   intermediary CA to the actual certificate. For example, for an
   email certificate with two CAs in the chain:
$ certutil -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -O -n “jsmith@example.com”
“Builtin Object Token:Thawte Personal Freemail CA” [E=personal-freemail@
thawte.com,CN=Thawte Personal Freemail CA,OU=Certification Services Divi
sion,O=Thawte Consulting,L=Cape Town,ST=Western Cape,C=ZA]
  “Thawte Personal Freemail Issuing CA - Thawte Consulting” [CN=Thawte P
ersonal Freemail Issuing CA,O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd.,C=ZA]
    “(null)” [E=jsmith@example.com,CN=Thawte Freemail Member]
   Resetting a Token
   The device which stores certificates – both external hardware
   devices and internal software databases – can be blanked and
   reused. This operation is performed on the device which stores
   the data, not directly on the security databases, so the
   location must be referenced through the token name (-h) as well
   as any directory path. If there is no external token used, the
   default value is internal.
certutil -T -d [sql:]directory -h token-name -0 security-officer-passwor
   Many networks have dedicated personnel who handle changes to
   security tokens (the security officer). This person must supply
   the password to access the specified token. For example:
$ certutil -T -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb -h nethsm -0 secret
   Upgrading or Merging the Security Databases
   Many networks or applications may be using older BerkeleyDB
   versions of the certificate database (cert8.db). Databases can
   be upgraded to the new SQLite version of the database
   (cert9.db) using the –upgrade-merge command option or existing
   databases can be merged with the new cert9.db databases using
   the —merge command.
   The –upgrade-merge command must give information about the
   original database and then use the standard arguments (like -d)
   to give the information about the new databases. The command
   also requires information that the tool uses for the process to
   upgrade and write over the original database.
certutil –upgrade-merge -d [sql:]directory [-P dbprefix] –source-dir d
irectory –source-prefix dbprefix –upgrade-id id –upgrade-token-name n
ame [-@ password-file]
   For example:
$ certutil –upgrade-merge -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb –source-dir /opt
/my-app/alias/ –source-prefix serverapp- –upgrade-id 1 –upgrade-token
-name internal
   The –merge command only requires information about the
   location of the original database; since it doesn’t change the
   format of the database, it can write over information without
   performing interim step.
certutil –merge -d [sql:]directory [-P dbprefix] –source-dir directory
 –source-prefix dbprefix [-@ password-file]
   For example:
$ certutil –merge -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb –source-dir /opt/my-app/
alias/ –source-prefix serverapp-
   Running certutil Commands from a Batch File
   A series of commands can be run sequentially from a text file
   with the -B command option. The only argument for this
   specifies the input file.
$ certutil -B -i /path/to/batch-file
NSS Database Types
   NSS originally used BerkeleyDB databases to store security
   information. The last versions of these legacy databases are:
     * cert8.db for certificates
     * key3.db for keys
     * secmod.db for PKCS #11 module information
   BerkeleyDB has performance limitations, though, which prevent
   it from being easily used by multiple applications
   simultaneously. NSS has some flexibility that allows
   applications to use their own, independent database engine
   while keeping a shared database and working around the access
   issues. Still, NSS requires more flexibility to provide a truly
   shared security database.
   In 2009, NSS introduced a new set of databases that are SQLite
   databases rather than BerkleyDB. These new databases provide
   more accessibility and performance:
     * cert9.db for certificates
     * key4.db for keys
     * pkcs11.txt, which is listing of all of the PKCS #11 modules
       contained in a new subdirectory in the security databases
   Because the SQLite databases are designed to be shared, these
   are the shared database type. The shared database type is
   preferred; the legacy format is included for backward
   By default, the tools (certutil, pk12util, modutil) assume that
   the given security databases follow the more common legacy
   type. Using the SQLite databases must be manually specified by
   using the sql: prefix with the given security directory. For
$ certutil -L -d sql:/home/my/sharednssdb
   To set the shared database type as the default type for the
   tools, set the NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE environment variable to sql:
export NSS_DEFAULT_DB_TYPE=”sql”
   This line can be set added to the ~/.bashrc file to make the
   change permanent.
   Most applications do not use the shared database by default,
   but they can be configured to use them. For example, this
   how-to article covers how to configure Firefox and Thunderbird
   to use the new shared NSS databases:
   For an engineering draft on the changes in the shared NSS
   databases, see the NSS project wiki:
See Also
   pk12util (1)
   modutil (1)
   certutil has arguments or operations that use features defined
   in several IETF RFCs.
   The NSS wiki has information on the new database design and how
   to configure applications to use it.
Additional Resources
   For information about NSS and other tools related to NSS (like
   JSS), check out the NSS project wiki at
   relates directly to NSS code changes and releases.
   Mailing lists:
   IRC: Freenode at #dogtag-pki
   The NSS tools were written and maintained by developers with
   Netscape, Red Hat, Sun, Oracle, Mozilla, and Google.
   Authors: Elio Maldonado <emaldona@redhat.com>, Deon Lackey
       Licensed under the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can
       obtain one at https://mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/.
        1. Mozilla NSS bug 836477