ipsec_newhostkey (8) - Linux Manuals

ipsec_newhostkey: generate a new raw RSA authentication key for a host


ipsec_newhostkey - generate a new raw RSA authentication key for a host


ipsec newhostkey [[--quiet] | [--verbose]] [--nssdirnssdir] [--password password] [--bits bits] [--seeddev device] [--hostname hostname] [--output filename]



generates an RSA public/private key pair suitable for authenticating this host is generated and stored in the NSS database.

See ipsec_showhostkey(8) for how to extract the public key from the NSS database.

Output Options

--output filename

The --output option specifies an ipsec.secrets formatted file (see ipsec.secrets(5)). to store the public key information. If the file does not exist, it is created under umask 077. If the file already exists and is non-empty, a warning message about that is written to standard error, and the output is appended to the file.


The --quiet option suppresses both the rsasigkey narrative and the existing-file warning message.

--nssdir nssdir

The --nssdir option specifies the NSS DB directory where the certificate key, and modsec databases reside (default /etc/ipsec.d.

--password password

The --password option specifies a module authentication password that may be required if FIPS mode is enabled.

--bits bits

The --bits option specifies the number of bits in the RSA key; the current default is a random (multiple of 16) value between 3072 and 4096. The minimum allowed is 2192.

--seeddev device

The --seeddev is used to specify the random device (default /dev/random used to seed the crypto library RNG.

--hostname hostname

The --hostname option is passed through to rsasigkey to tell it what host name to label the output with (via its --hostname option).


/dev/random, /dev/urandom


Originally written for the Linux FreeS/WAN project <m[blue]http://www.freeswan.orgm[]> by Henry Spencer. Updated by Paul Wouters


As with rsasigkey, the run time is difficult to predict, since depletion of the system's randomness pool can cause arbitrarily long waits for random bits for seeding the NSS library, and the prime-number searches can also take unpredictable (and potentially large) amounts of CPU time. See ipsec_rsasigkey(8) .

A higher-level tool which could handle the clerical details of changing to a new key would be helpful.


Paul Wouters

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