ipsec_showhostkey (8) - Linux Manuals

ipsec_showhostkey: show host's authentication key


ipsec_showhostkey - show host's authentication key


ipsec showhostkey [--verbose] {--version | --list | --dump | --left | --right | --ipseckey}
[--ckaid ckaid | --rsaid rsaid]
[--gateway gateway] [--precedence precedence]
[--nssdir nssdir] [--password password]



outputs (on standard output) a public key suitable for this host, in the format specified, using the host key information stored in the NSS database.

In general, since only the super-user can access the NSS database, only the super-user can display the public key information.

Common Options


Print the libreswan version, then exit.


Increase the verbosity.

--nssdir nssdir

Specify the libreswan directory that contains the NSS database (default /etc/ipsec.d).

--password password

Specify the password to use when accessing the NSS database (default contained in /etc/ipsec.d/nsspassword).

List Options


List the private keys.


List, with more details, the private keys.

Public Key Options

--ckaid ckaid

Select the public key to display using the NSS ckaid.

--rsaid rsaid

Select the public key to display using the RSA key ID.

--left, --right

Print the selected public key in ipsec.conf(5) format, as a leftrsasigkey or rightrsasigkey parameter respectively. For example, --left might give (with the key data trimmed down for clarity):



Print the selected public key in a format suitable for use as opportunistic-encryption DNS IPSECKEY record format (RFC 4025). A gateway can be specified with the --gateway, which currently supports IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. For the host name, the value returned by gethostname is used, with a . appended.

For example, --ipseckey --gateway might give (with the key data trimmed for clarity):

IN    IPSECKEY  10 1 2  AQOF8tZ2...+buFuFn/"

--gateway gateway

For --ipseckey, specify the gateway to display with the DNS IPSECKEY record.

--precedence precedence

For --ipseckey, specify the precedence to display with the DNS IPSECKEY record.


A complaint about "no pubkey line found" indicates that the host has a key but it was generated with an old version of FreeS/WAN and does not contain the information that showhostkey needs.


/etc/ipsec.d, /etc/ipsec.d/nsspassword


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


Arguably, rather than just reporting the no-IN-KEY-line-found problem, showhostkey should be smart enough to run the existing key through rsasigkey with the --oldkey option, to generate a suitable output line.


Paul Wouters

placeholder to suppress warning


ipsec.conf(5), ipsec rsasigkey(8)ipsec newhostkey(8)