Overview of Certificate Formats
In the world of SSL certificate conversion, there are several certificate formats that one may encounter. Some of the most common formats include .pem, .crt, .jks, .pfx, .der, .p12, and .p7b files. Each certificate format has its unique characteristics, but they all serve the same purpose, which is to secure data transmission between a client and a server. In this article, we will focus on converting .pem files into .crt and key files.
What is a PEM File?
PEM stands for Privacy Enhanced Mail and is a Base64-encoded format that is used to store SSL certificates and private keys. A PEM file typically contains both a certificate and a private key, but it can also contain just one or the other. PEM files are widely used, and many certificate authorities issue certificates in this format.
What is a CRT File?
CRT stands for Certificate and is a binary format that is used to store SSL certificates. CRT files contain only the public key and not the private key. CRT files are widely used, and many web servers, including Apache, require them.
What is a Key File?
A key file is a binary format that contains a private key. The private key is used to decrypt the SSL certificate. The key file is typically used in conjunction with a CRT file to secure data transmission between a client and a server.
Converting PEM to CRT and Key
To convert a PEM file into a CRT and key file, we will use the OpenSSL command-line tool. OpenSSL is a powerful open-source tool that can be used to encrypt, decrypt, and convert SSL certificates.
Step 1: Backup the PEM File
Before we begin the conversion process, it is essential to make a backup copy of the PEM file. This is important because if anything goes wrong during the conversion process, we can always revert to the original file. To back up the PEM file, make a copy of the file and give it a unique name.
Step 2: Convert the PEM File to CRT
To convert the PEM file to a CRT file, we will use the following command:
In this command, we are using the x509 command to convert the PEM file into a DER-encoded CRT file. We are also specifying the input file (example.pem) and the output file (example.crt).
Step 3: Extract the Private Key
To extract the private key from the PEM file, we will use the following command:
In this command, we are using the rsa command to extract the private key from the PEM file. We are also specifying the input file (example.pem) and the output file (example.key).
Step 4: Verify the CRT and Key Files
After the conversion process is complete, it is essential to verify that the CRT and Key files are valid. To verify the CRT file, we can use the following command:
In this command, we are using the x509 command to display the contents of the CRT file. We are also specifying the input file (example.crt). This command will display the information about the certificate, including the expiration date, subject, issuer, and public key.
To verify the Key file, we can use the following command:
In this command, we are using the rsa command to verify the private key. We are also specifying the input file (example.key). This command will verify that the private key is valid and display information about the key, including the modulus, public exponent, and private exponent.
FAQs for convert pem into crt and key
PEM is a file format used to store cryptographic keys, certificates, and other related objects in a way that’s human-readable. A PEM file contains ASCII encoded data that represents the key, certificate, or other objects in a specific format.
A CRT file is a certificate file that contains digital certificates issued by Certificate Authorities. These certificates are used to establish a secure connection between a server and a client. It is a binary file, which means it contains binary data that can only be read by specific software.
A KEY file contains the private key that corresponds to the certificate used to establish a secure connection. It is a binary file that can only be read by specific software and is an essential component of the cryptography used to secure data transmissions.
Why would I need to convert a PEM file into a CRT and KEY?
Converting a PEM file into a CRT and KEY is usually required when setting up SSL/TLS on a web server. CRT and KEY files are necessary for configuring the web server to use SSL/TLS, while PEM files are more versatile and can be used for a variety of other purposes.
How do I convert a PEM file into a CRT and KEY?
There are different ways to convert a PEM file into a CRT and KEY, depending on the software used. One common way is to use OpenSSL, a free and open source encryption library. The command to convert a PEM file into CRT and KEY with OpenSSL is:
openssl x509 -in
openssl rsa -in
<domain> with your domain name.
Can I convert a CRT and KEY back into a PEM file?
Yes, you can convert a CRT and KEY back into a PEM file using OpenSSL. The command to convert a CRT and KEY into a PEM file is:
openssl x509 -in
openssl rsa -in
Are there any risks involved in converting a PEM file into a CRT and KEY?
Converting a PEM file into a CRT and KEY involves the risk of mistakenly exposing the private key used to secure data transmissions. In addition, if the process is not performed correctly, it may render the certificate unusable. Therefore, it is essential to follow the right instructions and use reputable software when performing the conversion.