ovs-pki - OpenFlow public key infrastructure management utility
Each command takes the form:
The implemented commands and their arguments are:
ovs-pki req name
ovs-pki sign name
ovs-pki req+sign name
ovs-pki verify name
ovs-pki fingerprint file
ovs-pki self-sign name
above is a certificate type, either switch
The available options are:
[ -k type
[ -B nbits
[ -D file
[ -d dir
[ -l file
Some options do not apply to every command.
program sets up and manages a public key infrastructure for
use with OpenFlow. It is intended to be a simple interface for organizations
that do not have an established public key infrastructure. Other PKI tools can
substitute for or supplement the use of ovs-pki
(1) for certificate management and key
The following ovs-pki
commands support manual PKI administration:
- Initializes a new PKI (by default in directory
/var/lib/openvswitch/pki) and populates it with a pair of
certificate authorities for controllers and switches.
This command should ideally be run on a high-security machine separate from
any OpenFlow controller or switch, called the CA machine. The files
pki/controllerca/cacert.pem and pki/switchca/cacert.pem that
it produces will need to be copied over to the OpenFlow switches and
controllers, respectively. Their contents may safely be made public.
By default, ovs-pki generates 2048-bit RSA keys. The -B or
--bits option (see below) may be used to override the key length.
The -k dsa or --key=dsa option may be used to use DSA in
place of RSA. If DSA is selected, the dsaparam.pem file generated
in the new PKI hierarchy must be copied to any machine on which the
req command (see below) will be executed. Its contents may safely
be made public.
Other files generated by init may remain on the CA machine. The files
pki/switchca/private/cakey.pem have particularly sensitive contents
that should not be exposed.
- req name
- Generates a new private key named
name-privkey.pem and corresponding certificate request named
name-req.pem. The private key can be intended for use by a
switch or a controller.
This command should ideally be run on the switch or controller that will use
the private key to identify itself. The file name-req.pem
must be copied to the CA machine for signing with the sign command
This command will output a fingerprint to stdout as its final step. Write
down the fingerprint and take it to the CA machine before continuing with
the sign step.
When RSA keys are in use (as is the default), req, unlike the rest of
ovs-pki's commands, does not need access to a PKI hierarchy created
by ovs-pki init. The -B or --bits option (see below)
may be used to specify the number of bits in the generated RSA key.
When DSA keys are used (as specified with --key=dsa), req
needs access to the dsaparam.pem file created as part of the PKI
hierarchy (but not to other files in that tree). By default,
ovs-pki looks for this file in
/var/lib/openvswitch/pki/dsaparam.pem, but the -D or
--dsaparam option (see below) may be used to specify an alternate
name-privkey.pem has sensitive contents that should not be
exposed. name-req.pem may be safely made public.
- sign name [type]
- Signs the certificate request named
name-req.pem that was produced in the previous step,
producing a certificate named name-cert.pem. type,
either switch (default) or controller, indicates the use for
which the key is being certified.
This command must be run on the CA machine.
The command will output a fingerprint to stdout and request that you verify
that it is the same fingerprint output by the req command. This
ensures that the request being signed is the same one produced by
req. (The -b or --batch option suppresses the
The file name-cert.pem will need to be copied back to the
switch or controller for which it is intended. Its contents may safely be
- req+sign name [type]
- Combines the req and sign commands into a
single step, outputting all the files produced by each. The
name-privkey.pem and name-cert.pem files must
be copied securely to the switch or controller.
name-privkey.pem has sensitive contents and must not be
exposed in transit. Afterward, it should be deleted from the CA machine.
This combined method is, theoretically, less secure than the individual
steps performed separately on two different machines, because there is
additional potential for exposure of the private key. However, it is also
- verify name [type]
- Verifies that name-cert.pem is a valid
certificate for the given type of use, either switch
(default) or controller. If the certificate is valid for this use,
it prints the message `` name-cert.pem: OK''; otherwise, it
prints an error message.
- fingerprint file
- Prints the fingerprint for file. If file is a
certificate, then this is the SHA-1 digest of the DER encoded version of
the certificate; otherwise, it is the SHA-1 digest of the entire file.
- self-sign name
- Signs the certificate request named
name-req.pem using the private key
name-privkey.pem, producing a self-signed certificate named
name-cert.pem. The input files should have been produced
with ovs-pki req.
Some controllers accept such self-signed certificates.
- -k type
- For the init command, sets the public key algorithm
to use for the new PKI hierarchy. For the req and req+sign
commands, sets the public key algorithm to use for the key to be
generated, which must match the value specified on init. With other
commands, the value has no effect.
The type may be rsa (the default) or dsa.
- -B nbits
- Sets the number of bits in the key to be generated. When
RSA keys are in use, this option affects only the init, req,
and req+sign commands, and the same value should be given each
time. With DSA keys are in use, this option affects only the init
The value must be at least 1024. The default is 2048.
- -D file
- Specifies an alternate location for the dsaparam.pem
file required by the req and req+sign commands. This option
affects only these commands, and only when DSA keys are used.
The default is dsaparam.pem under the PKI hierarchy.
- Suppresses the interactive verification of fingerprints
that the sign command by default requires.
- -d dir
- Specifies the location of the PKI hierarchy to be used or
created by the command (default: /var/lib/openvswitch/pki). All
commands, except req, need access to a PKI hierarchy.
- By default, ovs-pki will not overwrite existing
files or directories. This option overrides this behavior.
- -l file
- Sets the log file to file. Default:
- Changes the format of the certificate's Common Name (CN)
field; by default, this field has the format "<name>
id:<uuid-or-date>", this option causes the provided name to be
treated as unique and changes the format of the CN field to be simply
- Prints a help usage message and exits.