EVP_PKEY_new.3ssl man page

EVP_PKEY_new, EVP_PKEY_up_ref, EVP_PKEY_free — private key allocation functions


#include <openssl/evp.h>
EVP_PKEY *EVP_PKEY_new(void);
int EVP_PKEY_up_ref(EVP_PKEY *key);
void EVP_PKEY_free(EVP_PKEY *key);


The EVP_PKEY_new() function allocates an empty EVP_PKEY structure which is used by OpenSSL to store private keys. The reference count is set to 1.

EVP_PKEY_up_ref() increments the reference count of key.

EVP_PKEY_free() decrements the reference count of key and, if the reference count is zero, frees it up. If key is NULL, nothing is done.


The EVP_PKEY structure is used by various OpenSSL functions which require a general private key without reference to any particular algorithm.

The structure returned by EVP_PKEY_new() is empty. To add a private key to this empty structure the functions described in EVP_PKEY_set1_RSA(3) should be used.

Return Values

EVP_PKEY_new() returns either the newly allocated EVP_PKEY structure or NULL if an error occurred.

EVP_PKEY_up_ref() returns 1 for success and 0 for failure.

See Also



EVP_PKEY_new() and EVP_PKEY_free() exist in all versions of OpenSSL.

EVP_PKEY_up_ref() was first added to OpenSSL 1.1.0.