How to create a ECDSA public / private key pair using OpenSSL on Linux

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A trusted certificate is one that is purchased from a trusted certificate authority (CA), such as www.verisign.com. Internet facing production applications should use a certificate from a trusted CA. For non-production applications, a self-signed certificate can be used.  Applications, such as a web browser, will complain when a self-signed certificate is used.

 


 

Use  apt-get or yum to install OpenSSL.

~]# apt-get install openssl
~]# yum install openssl

 


ECDSA Parameters and Private Key

Ensure root owns the private directory, and that only root can read and write to the private directory.

~]# chown root:root /etc/pki/tls/private
~]# chmod 600 /etc/pki/tls/private

 

Create the ECDSA parameters file and private key.

~]# openssl ecparam -genkey -out /etc/pki/tls/private/ec_private.key -name prime256v1

 

View the content of the dsaparam file and ensure BEGIN EC PARAMETERS and BEGIN EC PRIVATE KEY are displayed.

~]# cat /etc/pki/tls/private/ec_private.key
----------BEGIN EC PARAMETERS-----
. . .
----------BEGIN EC PRIVATE KEY-----

 

Ensure only root can read the private key file.

~]# chmod 400 /etc/pki/tls/private/private.key

 


Certificate

Create an ECDSA certificate.

~]# openssl req -x509 -new -key /etc/pki/tls/private/ec_private.key -out /etc/pki/tls/certs/ec_certificate.crt

 

There will be a series of prompts.

Area Example Description
Password myPassword Password
Country Name US United States
State/Province FL Florida
Locality Name Miami City
Organization Name Example, Inc. Company name
Organization Unit Name Example, Inc. Company name
Common Name www.example.com Domain name
Email Address admin@example.com Admin email

 

View the content of the ec_certificate.crt file and ensure BEGIN CERTIFCATE is displayed.

~]# cat /etc/pki/tls/certs/certificate.crt
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----

 



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