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Manual Reference Pages  -  PKCS11-TOOL (1)

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pkcs11-tool - utility for managing and using PKCS #11 security tokens



pkcs11-tool [OPTIONS]


The pkcs11-tool utility is used to manage the data objects on smart cards and similar PKCS #11 security tokens. Users can list and read PINs, keys and certificates stored on the token. User PIN authentication is performed for those operations that require it.


--attr-from path

Extract information from path (DER-encoded certificate file) and create the corresponding attributes when writing an object to the token. Example: the certificate subject name is used to create the CKA_SUBJECT attribute.

--change-pin, -c

Change the user PIN on the token

--hash, -h

Hash some data.

--id id, -d id

Specify the id of the object to operate on.


Initializes the user PIN. This option differs from --change-pin in that it sets the user PIN for the first time. Once set, the user PIN can be changed using --change-pin.


Initialize a token: set the token label as well as a Security Officer PIN (the label must be specified using --label).

--input-file path, -i path

Specify the path to a file for input.

--keypairgen, -k

Generate a new key pair (public and private pair.)

--label name, -a name

Specify the name of the object to operate on (or the token label when --init-token is used).

--list-mechanisms, -M

Display a list of mechanisms supported by the token.

--list-objects, -O

Display a list of objects.

--list-slots, -L

Display a list of available slots on the token.

--list-token-slots, -T

List slots with tokens.

--login, -l

Authenticate to the token before performing other operations. This option is not needed if a PIN is provided on the command line.

--mechanism mechanism, -m mechanism

Use the specified mechanism for token operations. See -M for a list of mechanisms supported by your token.

--module mod

Specify a PKCS#11 module (or library) to load.

--moz-cert path, -z path

Test a Mozilla-like keypair generation and certificate request. Specify the path to the certificate file.

--output-file path, -o path

Specify the path to a file for output.

--pin pin, -p pin

Use the given pin for token operations. If set to env:VARIABLE, the value of the environment variable VARIABLE is used. WARNING: Be careful using this option as other users may be able to read the command line from the system or if it is embedded in a script. If set to env:VARIABLE, the value of the environment variable VARIABLE is used.

This option will also set the --login option.

--set-id id, -e id

Set the CKA_ID of the object.

--show-info, -I

Display general token information.

--sign, -s

Sign some data.


Decrypt some data.

--slot id

Specify the id of the slot to use.

--slot-description description

Specify the description of the slot to use.

--slot-index index

Specify the index of the slot to use.

--token-label label

Specify the label of token. Will be used the first slot, that has the inserted token with this label.

--so-pin pin

Use the given pin as the Security Officer PIN for some token operations (token initialization, user PIN initialization, etc). If set to env:VARIABLE, the value of the environment variable VARIABLE is used. The same warning as --pin also applies here.

--test, -t

Perform some tests on the token. This option is most useful when used with either --login or --pin.

--type type, -y type

Specify the type of object to operate on. Examples are cert, privkey and pubkey.

--verbose, -v

Cause pkcs11-tool to be more verbose.

NB! This does not affect OpenSC debugging level! To set OpenSC PKCS#11 module into debug mode, set the OPENSC_DEBUG environment variable to a non-zero number.

--write-object id, -w path

Write a key or certificate object to the token. path points to the DER-encoded certificate or key file.
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opensc PKCS11-TOOL (1) 03/17/2016

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