What is a Pub Key?

A pub key, or public key, is a cryptographic key that is used to encrypt data. It is often used in conjunction with a private key to ensure secure communication. Pub keys are often used in digital certificates, which are used to verify the identity of a user or device.

What is a PEM?

PEM, or Privacy Enhanced Mail, is a file format used to store cryptographic keys. It is often used in conjunction with SSL/TLS certificates to ensure secure communication between a server and client. PEM files can store both private and public keys, as well as other information such as certificate chains.

A key takeaway from this text is that a pub key is a cryptographic key used to encrypt data that can be converted to PEM format, which is a file format used to store cryptographic keys, often used with SSL/TLS certificates. OpenSSL is a popular tool for converting pub keys to PEM, but there are also online converter tools available as well. Converting a pub key to PEM format is necessary when installing an SSL/TLS certificate on a server.

Why Convert a Pub Key to PEM?

There are many reasons why someone might need to convert a pub key to PEM. One common reason is to use the pub key in conjunction with an SSL/TLS certificate. In order to install an SSL/TLS certificate on a server, both the certificate and the private key must be in PEM format.

Converting a Pub Key to PEM Using OpenSSL

OpenSSL is a free, open-source software library that provides cryptographic functions. One of the functions provided by OpenSSL is the ability to convert between different file formats.

To convert a pub key to PEM using OpenSSL, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal window and navigate to the directory containing the pub key file.
  2. Run the following command to convert the pub key to PEM format:


In this command, pub_key.der is the name of the pub key file, and pub_key.pem is the name of the PEM file that will be created.

  1. Enter the password for the pub key when prompted.

Other Methods for Converting Pub Keys to PEM

While OpenSSL is a popular tool for converting pub keys to PEM, there are other methods available as well. One such method is to use an online converter tool. These tools allow you to upload the pub key file and convert it to PEM format without having to install any software.

FAQs on Converting Pub Key to PEM

What is a pub key?

A pub key is a public key that is used in asymmetric encryption, where one key is used for encryption and the other key is used for decryption. It is a part of a public-private key pair, and as the name suggests, it is publicly available. The pub key is used by anyone who wants to send a secure message to the owner of the private key.

What is a PEM file?

PEM stands for Privacy-Enhanced Mail, but today it is commonly used for a file format that can contain cryptographic keys, certificates, and other sensitive information. A PEM file is a text file that contains base64-encoded data, enclosed in the PEM headers and footers. These headers describe the contents of the file and provide metadata that can be used for validation and other purposes.

Why would I need to convert a pub key to PEM?

Sometimes, you may need to use a pub key in a format that is compatible with other software or systems. For example, if you are setting up a web server or other network service that requires SSL/TLS encryption, you may need to convert your pub key to a PEM file so that it can be used with your SSL/TLS certificate. Similarly, if you are working with cloud infrastructure providers like AWS or Google Cloud, you may need to provide them with a PEM-formatted pub key to authenticate your access.

How can I convert a pub key to PEM?

The process of converting a pub key to PEM depends on the format of the original file. If you have a pub key in OpenSSH format (which is the default on many Unix-like systems), you can use the ssh-keygen command to convert it to PEM format. The command would be something like: ssh-keygen -f my_pubkey.pub -e -m PEM > my_pubkey.pem. If you have a pub key in other formats like PKCS#1 or X.509, you may need to use other tools like OpenSSL to convert them to PEM.

Are there any security considerations I should keep in mind when converting a pub key to PEM?

When you convert a pub key to PEM format, you are essentially exposing it in a different way. This means that you need to be careful about how you store and transmit the PEM file, just like you would for the original pub key. In addition, you should also ensure that the conversion process is done securely and that the resulting PEM file is accurate and free from any errors. It is important to only use trusted tools and keep your private key secret.