ossl-guide-introduction.7ossl - Man Page

OpenSSL Guide: An introduction to OpenSSL

What is Openssl?

OpenSSL is a robust, commercial-grade, full-featured toolkit for general-purpose cryptography and secure communication. Its features are made available via a command line application that enables users to perform various cryptography related functions such as generating keys and certificates. Additionally it supplies two libraries that application developers can use to implement cryptography based capabilities and to securely communicate across a network. Finally, it also has a set of providers that supply implementations of a broad set of cryptographic algorithms.

OpenSSL is fully open source. Version 3.0 and above are distributed under the Apache v2 license.

Getting and Installing Openssl

The OpenSSL Project develops and distributes the source code for OpenSSL. You can obtain that source code via the OpenSSL website (<https://www.openssl.org/source>).

Many Operating Systems (notably Linux distributions) supply pre-built OpenSSL binaries either pre-installed or available via the package management system in use for that OS. It is worth checking whether this applies to you before attempting to build OpenSSL from the source code.

Some third parties also supply OpenSSL binaries (e.g. for Windows and some other platforms). The OpenSSL project maintains a list of these third parties at <https://wiki.openssl.org/index.php/Binaries>.

If you build and install OpenSSL from the source code then you should download the appropriate files for the version that you want to use from the link given above. Extract the contents of the tar.gz archive file that you downloaded into an appropriate directory. Inside that archive you will find a file named INSTALL.md which will supply detailed instructions on how to build and install OpenSSL from source. Make sure you read the contents of that file carefully in order to achieve a successful build. In the directory you will also find a set of NOTES files that provide further platform specific information. Make sure you carefully read the file appropriate to your platform. As well as the platform specific NOTES files there is also a NOTES-PERL.md file that provides information about setting up Perl for use by the OpenSSL build system across multiple platforms.

Sometimes you may want to build and install OpenSSL from source on a system which already has a pre-built version of OpenSSL installed on it via the Operating System package management system (for example if you want to use a newer version of OpenSSL than the one supplied by your Operating System). In this case it is strongly recommended to install OpenSSL to a different location than where the pre-built version is installed. You should never replace the pre-built version with a different version as this may break your system.

Contents of the Openssl Guide

The OpenSSL Guide is a series of documentation pages (starting with this one) that introduce some of the main concepts in OpenSSL. The guide can either be read end-to-end in order, or alternatively you can simply skip to the parts most applicable to your use case. Note however that later pages may depend on and assume knowledge from earlier pages.

The pages in the guide are as follows:

ossl-guide-libraries-introduction(7): An introduction to the OpenSSL libraries

ossl-guide-libcrypto-introduction(7): An introduction to libcrypto

ossl-guide-libssl-introduction(7): An introduction to libssl

ossl-guide-tls-introduction(7): An introduction to SSL/TLS in OpenSSL

ossl-guide-tls-client-block(7): Writing a simple blocking TLS client

ossl-guide-tls-client-non-block(7): Writing a simple nonblocking TLS client

ossl-guide-quic-introduction(7): An introduction to QUIC in OpenSSL

ossl-guide-quic-client-block(7): Writing a simple blocking QUIC client

ossl-guide-quic-multi-stream(7): Writing a simple multi-stream QUIC client

ossl-guide-quic-client-non-block(7): Writing a simple nonblocking QUIC client

ossl-guide-migration(7): Migrating from older OpenSSL versions

Referenced By

ossl-guide-quic-client-block.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-quic-client-non-block.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-quic-introduction.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-quic-multi-stream.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-tls-client-block.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-tls-client-non-block.7ossl(7), ossl-guide-tls-introduction.7ossl(7).

2024-03-07 3.2.1 OpenSSL