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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022

ec (1openssl)


ec - EC key processing


openssl ec [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-in filename] [-passin
arg] [-out filename] [-passout arg] [-des] [-des3] [-idea] [-text]
[-noout] [-param_out] [-pubin] [-pubout] [-conv_form arg] [-param_enc
arg] [-engine id]


EC(1openssl)                        OpenSSL                       EC(1openssl)

       openssl-ec, ec - EC key processing

       openssl ec [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-in filename] [-passin
       arg] [-out filename] [-passout arg] [-des] [-des3] [-idea] [-text]
       [-noout] [-param_out] [-pubin] [-pubout] [-conv_form arg] [-param_enc
       arg] [-engine id]

       The ec command processes EC keys. They can be converted between various
       forms and their components printed out. Note OpenSSL uses the private
       key format specified in 'SEC 1: Elliptic Curve Cryptography'
       (http://www.secg.org/). To convert a OpenSSL EC private key into the
       PKCS#8 private key format use the pkcs8 command.

       -inform DER|PEM
           This specifies the input format. The DER option with a private key
           uses an ASN.1 DER encoded SEC1 private key. When used with a public
           key it uses the SubjectPublicKeyInfo structure as specified in RFC
           3280.  The PEM form is the default format: it consists of the DER
           format base64 encoded with additional header and footer lines. In
           the case of a private key PKCS#8 format is also accepted.

       -outform DER|PEM
           This specifies the output format, the options have the same meaning
           as the -inform option.

       -in filename
           This specifies the input filename to read a key from or standard
           input if this option is not specified. If the key is encrypted a
           pass phrase will be prompted for.

       -passin arg
           the input file password source. For more information about the
           format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS section in openssl(1).

       -out filename
           This specifies the output filename to write a key to or standard
           output by is not specified. If any encryption options are set then
           a pass phrase will be prompted for. The output filename should not
           be the same as the input filename.

       -passout arg
           the output file password source. For more information about the
           format of arg see the PASS PHRASE ARGUMENTS section in openssl(1).

           These options encrypt the private key with the DES, triple DES,
           IDEA or any other cipher supported by OpenSSL before outputting it.
           A pass phrase is prompted for.  If none of these options is
           specified the key is written in plain text. This means that using
           the ec utility to read in an encrypted key with no encryption
           option can be used to remove the pass phrase from a key, or by
           setting the encryption options it can be use to add or change the
           pass phrase.  These options can only be used with PEM format output

           prints out the public, private key components and parameters.

           this option prevents output of the encoded version of the key.

           this option prints out the value of the public key component of the

           by default a private key is read from the input file: with this
           option a public key is read instead.

           by default a private key is output. With this option a public key
           will be output instead. This option is automatically set if the
           input is a public key.

           This specifies how the points on the elliptic curve are converted
           into octet strings. Possible values are: compressed (the default
           value), uncompressed and hybrid. For more information regarding the
           point conversion forms please read the X9.62 standard.  Note Due to
           patent issues the compressed option is disabled by default for
           binary curves and can be enabled by defining the preprocessor macro
           OPENSSL_EC_BIN_PT_COMP at compile time.

       -param_enc arg
           This specifies how the elliptic curve parameters are encoded.
           Possible value are: named_curve, i.e. the ec parameters are
           specified by a OID, or explicit where the ec parameters are
           explicitly given (see RFC 3279 for the definition of the EC
           parameters structures). The default value is named_curve.  Note the
           implicitlyCA alternative ,as specified in RFC 3279, is currently
           not implemented in OpenSSL.

       -engine id
           specifying an engine (by its unique id string) will cause ec to
           attempt to obtain a functional reference to the specified engine,
           thus initialising it if needed. The engine will then be set as the
           default for all available algorithms.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | library/security/openssl |
       |Stability      | Pass-through uncommitted |

       The PEM private key format uses the header and footer lines:

        -----BEGIN EC PRIVATE KEY-----
        -----END EC PRIVATE KEY-----

       The PEM public key format uses the header and footer lines:

        -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----
        -----END PUBLIC KEY-----

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.openssl.org/.

       To encrypt a private key using triple DES:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -des3 -out keyout.pem

       To convert a private key from PEM to DER format:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -outform DER -out keyout.der

       To print out the components of a private key to standard output:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -text -noout

       To just output the public part of a private key:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -pubout -out pubkey.pem

       To change the parameters encoding to explicit:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -param_enc explicit -out keyout.pem

       To change the point conversion form to compressed:

        openssl ec -in key.pem -conv_form compressed -out keyout.pem

       ecparam(1), dsa(1), rsa(1)

       The ec command was first introduced in OpenSSL 0.9.8.

       Nils Larsch for the OpenSSL project (http://www.openssl.org).

1.0.2za                           2021-08-24                      EC(1openssl)