OpenSSL Examples


OpenSSL is a widely used tool to secure data over the internet. It is an opensource tool commonly used in https websites and has become a standard in its own right.

OpenSSL is available for most Unix-like operating systems (including Linux, macOS, and BSD) and Microsoft Windows.

Below is a list of useful openssl command lines:

OpenSSL Commands
Key Creation:

Command to generate a Private Key

openssl genrsa -out example.key 2048

Command to generate a Private Key and a Self Signed Certificate

openssl req -out example.cert -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout example.key
Key Checking:

Command to Check your Private Key

openssl rsa -in example.key -check
Certificate Creation:

Command to create a self-signed certificate which is valid for 365 days

openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout example.key -x509 -days 365 -out example-selfsignedcertificate.crt
CSR Creation:

Command to create a CSR from an existing certificate

openssl -in certificate.pem -out CSR.pem -signkey privatekey.pem

command to generate a CSR if you have already generated a private key:

openssl req -new -key example.pem -out example.csr

Command to generate a Private Key and a CSR (Certificate Signing Request)

openssl req -out example.csr -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout example.key
Password Manipulation:

Command to remove a password from a password protected private key

openssl rsa -in example-privatekey.pem -out example-newprivatekey.pem
Decoding & Checking:

Decode a CSR file

openssl req -noout -text -in example.csr 

Certificate Decoder

openssl x509 -in certificate.pem -text -noout 

Check who issued the certificate

openssl x509 -in certificate.pem -noout -issuer -issuer_hash

Check the hash value of the certificate

openssl x509 -noout -hash -in certificate.pem

Check contents of PKCS12 format cert

openssl pkcs12 –info –nodes –in certtificate.p12

Test SSL certificate of particular URL

openssl s_client -connect –showcerts

Check Certificate Expiration

openssl x509 -noout -in certificate.pem -dates

Different platforms and devices require SSL certificates to be converted to different formats such as such as pem, der, p7b, and pfx.


openssl x509 –inform der –in certifocate.der –out certificate.pem

Convert PEM to DER

openssl x509 –outform der –in certificate.pem –out certificate.der

Convert PEM to P7B

openssl crl2pkcs7 -nocrl -certfile certificate.pem -out certificate.p7b

Convert PEM to PFX

openssl pkcs12 -export -out certificate.pfx -inkey privateKey.pem -in certificate.pem

Convert P7B to PEM

openssl pkcs7 -print_certs -in certificate.p7b -out certificate.pem

Convert P7B to PFX

openssl pkcs7 -print_certs -in certificate.p7b -out certificate.pfx

Convert PFX to PEM

openssl pkcs12 -in certificate.pfx -out certificate.pem -nodes


openssl pkcs12 –in certificate.p12 –out certificate.pem