dnssec-keygen — DNSSEC key generation tool
dnssec-keygen generates keys for DNSSEC (Secure DNS), as defined in RFC 2535 and RFC 4034. It can also generate keys for use with TSIG (Transaction Signatures) as defined in RFC 2845, or TKEY (Transaction Key) as defined in RFC 2930.
name of the key is specified on the command
line. For DNSSEC keys, this must match the name of the zone for
which the key is being generated.
Selects the cryptographic algorithm. For DNSSEC keys, the value
algorithm must be one of RSAMD5, RSASHA1,
DSA, NSEC3RSASHA1, NSEC3DSA, RSASHA256, RSASHA512, ECCGOST,
ECDSAP256SHA256, ECDSAP384SHA384, ED25519 or ED448.
For TSIG/TKEY, the value must
be DH (Diffie Hellman), HMAC-MD5, HMAC-SHA1, HMAC-SHA224,
HMAC-SHA256, HMAC-SHA384, or HMAC-SHA512. These values are
If no algorithm is specified, then RSASHA1 will be used by
default, unless the
-3 option is specified,
in which case NSEC3RSASHA1 will be used instead. (If
-3 is used and an algorithm is specified,
that algorithm will be checked for compatibility with NSEC3.)
Note 1: that for DNSSEC, RSASHA1 is a mandatory to implement algorithm, and DSA is recommended. For TSIG, HMAC-MD5 is mandatory.
Note 2: DH, HMAC-MD5, and HMAC-SHA1 through HMAC-SHA512 automatically set the -T KEY option.
Specifies the number of bits in the key. The choice of key size depends on the algorithm used. RSA keys must be between 512 and 2048 bits. Diffie Hellman keys must be between 128 and 4096 bits. DSA keys must be between 512 and 1024 bits and an exact multiple of 64. HMAC keys must be between 1 and 512 bits. Elliptic curve algorithms don't need this parameter.
The key size does not need to be specified if using a default
algorithm. The default key size is 1024 bits for zone signing
keys (ZSK's) and 2048 bits for key signing keys (KSK's,
-f KSK). However, if an
algorithm is explicitly specified with the
then there is no default key size, and the
must be used.
Specifies the owner type of the key. The value of
nametype must either be ZONE (for a DNSSEC
zone key (KEY/DNSKEY)), HOST or ENTITY (for a key associated with
a host (KEY)),
USER (for a key associated with a user(KEY)) or OTHER (DNSKEY).
These values are case insensitive. Defaults to ZONE for DNSKEY
Use an NSEC3-capable algorithm to generate a DNSSEC key. If this option is used and no algorithm is explicitly set on the command line, NSEC3RSASHA1 will be used by default. Note that RSASHA256, RSASHA512, ECCGOST, ECDSAP256SHA256, ECDSAP384SHA384, ED25519 and ED448 algorithms are NSEC3-capable.
Compatibility mode: generates an old-style key, without
any metadata. By default, dnssec-keygen
will include the key's creation date in the metadata stored
with the private key, and other dates may be set there as well
(publication date, activation date, etc). Keys that include
this data may be incompatible with older versions of BIND; the
-C option suppresses them.
Indicates that the DNS record containing the key should have the specified class. If not specified, class IN is used.
Uses a crypto hardware (OpenSSL engine) for random number and, when supported, key generation. When compiled with PKCS#11 support it defaults to pkcs11; the empty name resets it to no engine.
Set the specified flag in the flag field of the KEY/DNSKEY record. The only recognized flags are KSK (Key Signing Key) and REVOKE.
Generate a key, but do not publish it or sign with it. This option is incompatible with -P and -A.
If generating a Diffie Hellman key, use this generator. Allowed values are 2 and 5. If no generator is specified, a known prime from RFC 2539 will be used if possible; otherwise the default is 2.
Prints a short summary of the options and arguments to dnssec-keygen.
Sets the directory in which the key files are to be written.
Deprecated in favor of -T KEY.
Sets the default TTL to use for this key when it is converted
into a DNSKEY RR. If the key is imported into a zone,
this is the TTL that will be used for it, unless there was
already a DNSKEY RRset in place, in which case the existing TTL
would take precedence. If this value is not set and there
is no existing DNSKEY RRset, the TTL will default to the
SOA TTL. Setting the default TTL to
none is the same as leaving it unset.
Sets the protocol value for the generated key. The protocol is a number between 0 and 255. The default is 3 (DNSSEC). Other possible values for this argument are listed in RFC 2535 and its successors.
Quiet mode: Suppresses unnecessary output, including
progress indication. Without this option, when
dnssec-keygen is run interactively
to generate an RSA or DSA key pair, it will print a string
of symbols to
stderr indicating the
progress of the key generation. A '.' indicates that a
random number has been found which passed an initial
sieve test; '+' means a number has passed a single
round of the Miller-Rabin primality test; a space
means that the number has passed all the tests and is
a satisfactory key.
Specifies the source of randomness. If the operating
system does not provide a
or equivalent device, the default source of randomness
is keyboard input.
the name of a character device or file containing random
data to be used instead of the default. The special value
keyboard indicates that keyboard
input should be used.
Create a new key which is an explicit successor to an existing key. The name, algorithm, size, and type of the key will be set to match the existing key. The activation date of the new key will be set to the inactivation date of the existing one. The publication date will be set to the activation date minus the prepublication interval, which defaults to 30 days.
Specifies the strength value of the key. The strength is a number between 0 and 15, and currently has no defined purpose in DNSSEC.
Specifies the resource record type to use for the key.
rrtype must be either DNSKEY or KEY. The
default is DNSKEY when using a DNSSEC algorithm, but it can be
overridden to KEY for use with SIG(0).
Using any TSIG algorithm (HMAC-* or DH) forces this option to KEY.
Indicates the use of the key.
type must be
one of AUTHCONF, NOAUTHCONF, NOAUTH, or NOCONF. The default
is AUTHCONF. AUTH refers to the ability to authenticate
data, and CONF the ability to encrypt data.
Sets the debugging level.
Prints version information.
Dates can be expressed in the format YYYYMMDD or YYYYMMDDHHMMSS. If the argument begins with a '+' or '-', it is interpreted as an offset from the present time. For convenience, if such an offset is followed by one of the suffixes 'y', 'mo', 'w', 'd', 'h', or 'mi', then the offset is computed in years (defined as 365 24-hour days, ignoring leap years), months (defined as 30 24-hour days), weeks, days, hours, or minutes, respectively. Without a suffix, the offset is computed in seconds. To explicitly prevent a date from being set, use 'none' or 'never'.
Sets the date on which a key is to be published to the zone. After that date, the key will be included in the zone but will not be used to sign it. If not set, and if the -G option has not been used, the default is "now".
Sets the date on which the key is to be activated. After that date, the key will be included in the zone and used to sign it. If not set, and if the -G option has not been used, the default is "now". If set, if and -P is not set, then the publication date will be set to the activation date minus the prepublication interval.
Sets the date on which the key is to be revoked. After that date, the key will be flagged as revoked. It will be included in the zone and will be used to sign it.
Sets the date on which the key is to be retired. After that date, the key will still be included in the zone, but it will not be used to sign it.
Sets the date on which the key is to be deleted. After that date, the key will no longer be included in the zone. (It may remain in the key repository, however.)
Sets the prepublication interval for a key. If set, then the publication and activation dates must be separated by at least this much time. If the activation date is specified but the publication date isn't, then the publication date will default to this much time before the activation date; conversely, if the publication date is specified but activation date isn't, then activation will be set to this much time after publication.
If the key is being created as an explicit successor to another key, then the default prepublication interval is 30 days; otherwise it is zero.
As with date offsets, if the argument is followed by one of the suffixes 'y', 'mo', 'w', 'd', 'h', or 'mi', then the interval is measured in years, months, weeks, days, hours, or minutes, respectively. Without a suffix, the interval is measured in seconds.
When dnssec-keygen completes
it prints a string of the form
to the standard output. This is an identification string for
the key it has generated.
nnnn is the key name.
aaa is the numeric representation
iiiii is the key identifier (or
creates two files, with names based
on the printed string.
contains the public key, and
Knnnn.+aaa+iiiii.private contains the
.key file contains a DNS KEY record
can be inserted into a zone file (directly or with a $INCLUDE
.private file contains
fields. For obvious security reasons, this file does not have
general read permission.
files are generated for symmetric cryptography algorithms such as
HMAC-MD5, even though the public and private key are equivalent.
To generate a 768-bit DSA key for the domain
example.com, the following command would be
dnssec-keygen -a DSA -b 768 -n ZONE example.com
The command would print a string of the form:
In this example, dnssec-keygen creates
BIND 9.9.13 (Extended Support Version)