pesign - Man Page

command line tool for signing UEFI applications


pesign [--in=infile | -i infile]
      [--out=outfile | -o outfile]
      [--certdir=certdir/fR | -n certdir]
      [--nss-token=token | -t token]
      [--certificate=nickname | -c nickname]
      [--force | -f] [--sign | -s] [--hash | -h]
      [--digest_type=digest | -d digest]
      [--show-signature | -S ] [--remove-signature | -r ]
      [--export-pubkey=outkey | -K outkey]
      [--export-cert=outcert | -C outcert]
      [--ascii-armor | -a] [--daemonize | -D] [--nofork | -N]
      [--padding | -P | --nopadding | -p ]
      [--signature-number=signum | -u signum]


pesign is a command line tool for manipulating signatures and  cryptographic digests of UEFI applications.



Specify input binary.


Specify output binary.


Specify nss certificate database directory.


Use the specified NSS token's certificate database.


Use the certificate database entry with the specified nickname for signing.


Overwrite output files. Without this parameter, pesign will refuse to overrite any output files which already exist.


Sign the input binary with the key specified by --certificate.


Display the cryptographic digest of the input binary on standard output.


Use the specified digest in hashing and signing operations. By default, this value is "sha256".  Use "--digest_type=help" to list the available digests.


Show information about the signature of the input binary.


Remove the signature section from the binary.


Specify which signature to operate on.  This field is zero-indexed.


Export the public key specified by --certificate to outkey


Export the certificate specified by --certificate to outcert


Use ascii armoring on exported certificates.


Spawn a daemon for use with pesign-client(1)


Do not fork when using --daemonize.

--padding | --nopadding

Do or do not pad the binary out to the PE 9.3 alignment before signing. Padding is recommended (and in many circumstances required) even for binaries which predate the current PE spec, and is enabled by default as of pesign 113.


1.If you have a certificate file and private key file, the following steps may be used to sign a PE image:

# Create a pkcs12 file from private key and
# certificate file.
host:~$ openssl pkcs12 -export -out foo_key.p12 \

-inkey signing_key.pem \
-in xyz_cert.x509.pem

# Import pkcs12 file into pesign db
host:~$ pk12util -i foo_key.p12 -d /etc/pki/pesign
# Do the signing
host:~$ pesign -i <input-file> -o <output-file> \

-c <cert nickname>  -s

Please note that this is just an example, and that recommended best practice is to always store private keys in a FIPS 140-2 hardware security module, level 2 or higher.

2.If you have a key pair in your HSM and your HSM supports PKCS #11 and the OpenSSL Engine, the following steps may be used to sign a PE image using OpenSSL:

# Install your vendor's engine into OpenSSL. (Contact your vendor for OpenSSL engine support)
host:~$ cp <vendor_engine>.so  /usr/lib64/openssl/engines/
host:~$ openssl engine -v <engine_id>

[Verify vendor engine. engine_id is set by your vendor while producing .so file]

# Add PKCS #11 module
host:~$ sudo su - pesign -s /bin/bash
host:~$ modutil -dbdir /etc/pki/pesign -add <module_name> -libfile /usr/lib64/<vendor_engine>.so
# List the added module
host:~$ modutil -dbdir /etc/pki/pesign -list
Example, listing of PKCS #11 modules
library name: /usr/lib64/<vendor-engine>.so
slots: N slots attached
status: loaded
slot: PCI Card
token: Test-CA
# List certs in tokens
host:~$ certutil -d /etc/pki/pesign -L -h "Test-CA" [token name from listing above]
# Sign with private key in HSM
host:~$ pesign --sign --in=<input_file> --out=<output_file> --nss-token="Test-CA" --certficate="PUB_CRT"
Where "Test-CA" is the name of the HSM token as listed by "modutil -list" and "PUB_CRT" is the certificate name/label in the HSM whose private key will be used to sign the PE binary.

See Also


FIPS 140-2


Peter Jones, Vikas Charak

Referenced By

authvar(1), efikeygen(1), efisiglist(1), pesign-client(1).

Thu Jun 21 2012