HP Open Source Security for OpenVMS Volume 2: HP SSL for OpenVMS > OpenSSL Command Line Interface (CLI) Reference


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pkcs7 — PKCS#7 utility


openssl pkcs7 [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-in filename] [-out filename] [-print_certs] [-text] [-noout] [-engine id]


The pkcs7 command processes PKCS#7 files in DER or PEM format.


  • -inform DER|PEM

    This specifies the input format. DER format is DER encoded PKCS#7 v1.5 structure.PEM (the default) is a base64 encoded version of the DER form with header and footer lines.

  • -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 from or standard input if this option is not specified.

  • -out filename

    specifies the output filename to write to or standard output by default.

  • -print_certs

    prints out any certificates or CRLs contained in the file. They are preceded by their subject and issuer names in one line format.

  • -text

    prints out certificates details in full rather than just subject and issuer names.

  • -noout

    don't output the encoded version of the PKCS#7 structure (or certificates is -print_certs is set).

  • -engine id

    specifying an engine (by it's unique id string) will cause req 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.


Convert a PKCS#7 file from PEM to DER:

 openssl pkcs7 -in file.pem -outform DER -out file.der

Output all certificates in a file:

 openssl pkcs7 -in file.pem -print_certs -out certs.pem


The PEM PKCS#7 format uses the header and footer lines:

 -----BEGIN PKCS7-----
-----END PKCS7-----

For compatibility with some CAs it will also accept:



There is no option to print out all the fields of a PKCS#7 file.

This PKCS#7 routines only understand PKCS#7 v 1.5 as specified in RFC2315 they cannot currently parse, for example, the new CMS as described in RFC2630.