SOFTHSM2-UTIL(1) General Commands Manual SOFTHSM2-UTIL(1)

softhsm2-util - support tool for libsofthsm2

softhsm2-util --show-slots

softhsm2-util --init-token --free --label text \ [--so-pin PIN --pin PIN]

softhsm2-util --import path [--file-pin PIN] --token label \ [--pin PIN --no-public-key] --label text --id hex

softhsm2-util --import path --aes --token label \ [--pin PIN] --label text --id hex

softhsm2-util --delete-token --token text

softhsm2-util is a support tool mainly for libsofthsm2. It can also be used with other PKCS#11 libraries by using the option --module

Read the sections below to get more information on the libsofthsm2 and PKCS#11. Most applications assumes that the token they want to use is already initialized. It is then up to the user to initialize the PKCS#11 token. This is done by using the PKCS#11 interface, but instead of writing your own tool you can use the softhsm2-util tool.

Keys are usually created directly in the token, but the user may want to use an existing key pair. Keys can be imported to a token by using the PKCS#11 interface, but this tool can also be used if the user has the key pair in a PKCS#8 file. If you need to convert keys from BIND .private-key format over to PKCS#8, one can use softhsm2-keyconv.

The libary libsofthsm2, known as SoftHSM, provides cryptographic functionality by using the PKCS#11 API. It was developed as a part of the OpenDNSSEC project, thus designed to meet the requirements of OpenDNSSEC, but can also work together with other software that want to use the functionality of the PKCS#11 API.

SoftHSM is a software implementation of a generic cryptographic device with a PKCS#11 interface. These devices are often called tokens. Read in the manual softhsm2.conf(5) on how to create these tokens and how they are added to a slot in SoftHSM.

The PKCS#11 API can be used to handle and store cryptographic keys. This interface specifies how to communicate with cryptographic devices such as HSMs (Hardware Security Modules) and smart cards. The purpose of these devices is, among others, to generate cryptographic keys and sign information without revealing private-key material to the outside world. They are often designed to perform well on these specific tasks compared to ordinary processes in a normal computer.

Delete the token at a given slot. Use with --token or --serial. Any content in token will be erased.
Show the help information.
Import a key pair from the given path. The file must be in PKCS#8-format.
Use with --slot or --token or --serial, --file-pin, --pin, --no-public-key, --label, and --id.
Can also be used with --aes to use file as is and import it as AES.
Initialize the token at a given slot, token label or token serial. If the token is already initialized then this command will reinitialize it, thus erasing all the objects in the token. The matching Security Officer (SO) PIN must also be provided when doing reinitialization. Initialized tokens will be reassigned to another slot (based on the token serial number).
Use with --slot or --token or --serial or --free, --label, --so-pin, and --pin.
Display all the available slots and their current status.
Show the version info.

Used to tell import to use file as is and import it as AES.
The PIN will be used to decrypt the PKCS#8 file. If not given then the PKCS#8 file is assumed to be unencrypted.
Use this option to override the warnings and force the given action.
Use the first free/uninitialized token.
Choose an ID of the key pair. The ID is in hexadecimal with a variable length. Use with --force when importing a key pair if the ID already exists.
Defines the label of the object or the token that will be set.
Use another PKCS#11 library than SoftHSM.
Do not import the public key.
The PIN for the normal user.
Will use the token with a matching serial number.
The slot where the token is located.
The PIN for the Security Officer (SO).
Will use the token with a matching token label.

The token can be initialized using this command:

softhsm2-util --init-token --slot 1 --label "mytoken"

A key pair can be imported using the softhsm tool where you specify the path to the key file, slot number, label and ID of the new objects, and the user PIN. The file must be in PKCS#8 format.

softhsm2-util --import key1.pem --token "mytoken" --label "My key" \
--id A1B2 --pin 123456
(Add, --file-pin PIN, if the key file is encrypted.)

Written by Rickard Bellgrim, Francis Dupont, René Post, and Roland van Rijswijk.

softhsm2-keyconv(1), softhsm2-migrate(1), softhsm2.conf(5)

22 September 2017 SoftHSM