strongswan_pki---gen - Man Page

Generate a new RSA or ECDSA private key


pki --gen[--type type] [--size bits] [--safe-primes] [--shares n] [--threshold l] [--outform encoding] [--debug level]
pki --gen--options file
pki --gen-h | --help


This sub-command of pki(1) is used to generate a new RSA or ECDSA private key.


-h,  --help

Print usage information with a summary of the available options.

-v,  --debug level

Set debug level, default: 1.

-+,  --options file

Read command line options from file.

-t,  --type type

Type of key to generate. Either rsa, ecdsa, ed25519, ed448 or bliss, defaults to rsa.

-s,  --size bits

Key length in bits. Defaults to 2048 for rsa and 384 for ecdsa. For ecdsa only three values are currently supported: 256, 384 and 521.

-p,  --safe-primes

Generate RSA safe primes.

-f,  --outform encoding

Encoding of the generated private key. Either der (ASN.1 DER) or pem (Base64 PEM), defaults to der.

RSA Threshold Cryptography

-n,  --shares <n>

Number of private RSA key shares.

-l,  --threshold <l>

Minimum number of participating RSA key shares.

Problems on Hosts with Low Entropy

If the gmp plugin is used to generate RSA private keys the key material is read from /dev/random (via the random plugin). Therefore, the command may block if the system's entropy pool is empty. To avoid this, either use a hardware random number generator to feed /dev/random or use OpenSSL (via the openssl plugin or the command line) which is not as strict in regards to the quality of the key material (it reads from /dev/urandom if necessary). It is also possible to configure the devices used by the random plugin in strongswan.conf(5). Setting libstrongswan.plugins.random.random to /dev/urandom forces the plugin to treat bytes read from /dev/urandom as high grade random data, thus avoiding the blocking. Of course, this doesn't change the fact that the key material generated this way is of lower quality.


pki --gen --size 3072 > rsa_key.der

Generates a 3072-bit RSA private key.

pki --gen --type ecdsa --size 256 > ecdsa_key.der

Generates a 256-bit ECDSA private key.

See Also



2016-12-13 5.9.11 strongSwan