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PKICertImport - Man Page

Used to safely validate and import certificates into the NSS database.


PKICertImport -d NSS-database -i certificate -n nickname -t trust -u usage [-h token] [-f password-file] [-a]

Validate and import a certificate into the specified NSS database. Verifies signature, trust chain, trust, and usage flags. If a certificate is not valid, it will not be added to the NSS database or specified token.


The certificate import utility validates signature, trust chain, trust, and usage flags before importing a certificate into the specified NSS database. This ensures that no certificate is used before its authenticity has been verified. Unlike certutil, only one invocation is necessary to both validate and import certificates.

See certutil for more information about the parameters to PKICertImport.


PKICertImport parameters:

--ascii,  -a

The certificate is encoded in ASCII (PEM) format instead of binary format. Optional.

--certificate,  -i certificate

Path to the certificate to import. Required.

--chain,  -c

Import an entire PKCS12 chain; requires --pkcs12. Optional.

--chain-trust trust

Trust flags to assign intermediate certificates; requires --chain.

--chain-usage usage

Usage to validate intermediate certificates against; requires --chain.

--database,  -d NSS-database

The directory containing the NSS database. This is usually the client's personal directory. Required.

--password,  -f password-file

The path to a file containing the password to the NSS database. Optional.

--hsm,  -h token

Name of the token. If not specified, the default token is the internal database slot. Optional.

--leaf-only,  -l

Import only the leaf certificate from a PKCS12 chain; requiers --pkcs12. Optional.

--nickname,  -n nickname

Nickname for the certificate in the NSS database. Required.

--pkcs12,  -p

The input certificate is a .p12/PKCS12 file. Optional.

--pkcs12-password,  -w password-file

Password file for the PKCS12 chain; requires --pkcs12.

--trust,  -t trust

Trust flags for the certificate. See certutil for more information about the available trust flags. Required.

--usage,  -u usage

Usage to validate the certificate against. See certutil for more information about available usage flags. Required.

Unsafe Options


Keep the keys in the NSS DB in the event of a verification failure.


Specify trust when importing the certificate instead of after verifying certificates. This enables importing a new root certificate instead of requiring the chain to have an existing, trusted root.


   When specified, see all internal commands being executed as part of this command.


To import a server certificate:

PKICertImport -d . -n "example.com" -i example-com.crt -t ,, -u V

To import a CA certificate (root or intermediate):

PKICertImport -d . -n "MyCA Cert" -i ca-cert.crt -t CT,C,C -u L

To import a leaf client certificate from a PKCS12 chain:

PKICertImport -d . -n "Nick Named" -i nick-named.p12 -t ,, -u C --pkcs12 --leaf

To import the entire chain of a client certificate:

PKICertImport -d . -n "Nick Named" -i nick-named.p12 -t ,, -u C --pkcs12 --chain --chain-trust CT,C,C --chain-usage L


Alexander Scheel <ascheel@redhat.com>.


Jan 30, 2019 PKI certificate import tool