CURL to pass SSL certifcate and password


I need to specify a certificate with CURL i tried with --cert option it is not working.

Could you please let me know to specify the keystore and passpharse while invoking with curl?

This question is tagged with java unix curl curly-braces

~ Asked on 2013-09-25 20:25:03

The Best Answer is


Should be:

curl --cert certificate_file.pem:password

~ Answered on 2013-09-25 20:38:42


I went through this when trying to get a clientcert and private key out of a keystore.

The link above posted by welsh was great, but there was an extra step on my redhat distribution. If curl is built with NSS ( run curl --version to see if you see NSS listed) then you need to import the keys into an NSS keystore. I went through a bunch of convoluted steps, so this may not be the cleanest way, but it got things working

So export the keys into .p12

keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore $jksfile -destkeystore $p12file \
        -srcstoretype JKS -deststoretype PKCS12 \
        -srcstorepass $jkspassword -deststorepass $p12password  
        -srcalias $myalias -destalias $myalias \
        -srckeypass $keypass -destkeypass $keypass -noprompt

And generate the pem file that holds only the key

 echo making ${fileroot}.key.pem
 openssl pkcs12 -in $p12 -out ${fileroot}.key.pem  \
         -passin pass:$p12password  \
         -passout pass:$p12password  -nocerts
  • Make an empty keystore:
mkdir ~/nss
chmod 700 ~/nss
certutil -N -d ~/nss
  • Import the keys into the keystore
pks12util -i <mykeys>.p12 -d ~/nss -W <password for cert >

Now curl should work.

curl --insecure --cert <client cert alias>:<password for cert> \
     --key ${fileroot}.key.pem  <URL>

As I mentioned, there may be other ways to do this, but at least this was repeatable for me. If curl is compiled with NSS support, I was not able to get it to pull the client cert from a file.

~ Answered on 2017-06-19 13:38:02

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