Initializes a new PKI (by default in directory /var/lib/openvswitch/pki) and populates
it with a pair of certificate authorities for controllers and
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/controllerca/private/cakey.pem and pki/switchca/private/cakey.pem have particularly sensitive contents that should not be exposed.
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 (below).
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-pkis 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 location.
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
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 verification step.)
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 made public.
|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
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 more convenient.
|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
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
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 --key=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 --bits=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 command.
The value must be at least 1024. The default is 2048.
-D file --dsaparam=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.
-b --batch Suppresses the interactive verification of fingerprints that the sign command by default requires.
-d dir --dir=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.
-f --force By default, ovs-pki will not overwrite existing files or directories. This option overrides this behavior.
-l file --log=file Sets the log file to file. Default: /var/log/openvswitch/ovs-pki.log.
-h --help Prints a help usage message and exits.
|Open vSwitch||OVS-PKI (8)||2.3.2|