ELFSIGN(1) User Commands ELFSIGN(1)

elfsign - sign binaries

/usr/bin/elfsign sign [-a] [-v] -k private_key -c certificate_file
     -e elf_object [-F format] [file]...

/usr/bin/elfsign sign [-a] [-v] -c certificate_file
     -e elf_object -T token_label [-P pin_file] [-F format] [file]...

/usr/bin/elfsign verify [-c certificate_file]
     [-v] -e elf_object [file]...

/usr/bin/elfsign request -r certificate_request_file
     {-k private_key | -T token_label}

/usr/bin/elfsign list -f field -c certificate_file

/usr/bin/elfsign list -f field -e elf_object

Lists on standard output information from a single certificate file or signed elf object. The selected field appears on a single line. If the field specified does not apply to the named file, the command terminates with no standard output. This output of this subcommand is intended for use in scripts and by other commands.


Generates a private key and a PKCS#10 certificate request. The PKCS#10 certificate request for use with the Solaris Cryptographic Framework. If the private key is to be created in a token device, elfsign prompts for the PIN required to update the token device. The PKCS#10 certificate request should be sent to the email address solaris-crypto-req@sun.com to obtain a Certificate.

Users of elfsign must first generate a certificate request and obtain a certificate before signing binaries for use with the Solaris Cryptographic Framework.


Signs the elf object, using the given private key and certificate file.


Verifies an existing signed object. Uses the certificate given or searches for an appropriate certificate in /etc/crypto/certs if -c is not given.

The following options are supported:


Generates a signed ELF Sign Activation (.esa) file. This option is used when a cryptographic provider has nonretail export approval for unrestricted use and desires retail approval by restricting which export sensitive callers (for example, IPsec) can use the provider. This option assumes that the provider binary has previously been signed with a restricted certificate.

-c certificate_file

Specifies the path to an X.509 certificate in PEM/PKCS#7 or ASN.1 BER format.

-e elf_object

Specifies the path to the object to be signed or verified.

The -e option can be specified multiple times for signing or verifying multiple objects.

-F format

For the sign subcommand, specifies the format of the signature. The valid format options are


Default format Solaris 10 and updates, The rsa_md5_sha1 format is Obsolete.


Default format for this release.

Formats other than rsa_md5_sha1 include an informational timestamp with the signature indicating when the signature was applied. This timestamp is not cryptographically secure, nor is it used as part of verification.

-f field

For the list subcommand, specifies what field should appear in the output.

The valid field specifiers for a certifiicate file are:


Subject DN (Distinguished Name)


Issuer DN

The valid field specifiers for an elf object are:


Format of the signature


Subject DN of the certificate used to sign the object


Time the signature was applied, in the locale's default format

-k private_key

Specifies the location of the private key file when not using a PKCS#11 token. This file is an RSA Private key file in a Solaris specific format. When used with the request subcommand, this is the ouput file for the newly generated key.

It is an error to specify both the -k and -T options.

-P pin_file

Specifies the file which holds the PIN for accessing the token device. If the PIN is not provided in a pin_file, elfsign prompts for the PIN.

It is an error to specify the -P option without the -T option.

-r certificate_request_file

Specifies the path to the certificate request file, which is in PKCS#10 format.

-T token_label

Specifies the label of the PCKS#11 token device, as provided by pktool, which holds the private key.

It is an error to specify both the -T and -k options.


Requests more detailed information. The additional output includes the signer and, if the signature format contains it, the time the object was signed. This is not stable parsable output.

The following operand is supported:


One or more elf objects to be signed or verified. At least one elf object must be specified either via the -e option or after all other options.

Example 1 Signing an ELF Object Using a Key/Certificate in a File

example$ elfsign sign -k myprivatekey -c mycert -e lib/libmylib.so.1

Example 2 Verifying an elf Object's Signature

example$ elfsign verify -c mycert -e lib/libmylib.so.1
elfsign: verification of lib/libmylib.so.1 passed

Example 3 Generating a Certificate Request

example$ elfsign request -k mykey -r req.pkcs10
Enter Company Name / Stock Symbol or some other globally
unique identifier.
This will be the prefix of the Certificate DN: SUNW
The government of the United States of America restricts the export of
"open cryptographic interfaces", also known as "crypto-with-a-hole".
Due to this restriction, all providers for the Solaris cryptographic
framework must be signed, regardless of the country of origin.
The terms "retail" and "non-retail" refer to export classifications for
products manufactured in the USA. These terms define the portion of the
world where the product may be shipped.) Roughly speaking, "retail" is
worldwide (minus certain excluded nations) and "non-retail" is domestic
only (plus some highly favored nations).
If your provider is subject to USA export control, then you
must obtain an export approval (classification)
from the government of the USA before exporting your provider.
It is critical that you specify the obtained (or expected, when
used during development) classification to the following questions
so that your provider will be appropriately signed.
Do you have retail export approval for use without restrictions
based on the caller (for example, IPsec)? [Yes/No] No
If you have non-retail export approval for unrestricted use of your
provider by callers, are you also planning to receive retail
approval by restricting which export sensitive callers
(for example, IPsec) may use your provider? [Yes/No] No

Example 4 Determining Information About an Object

example$ elfsign list -f format -e lib/libmylib.so.1
example$ elfsign list -f signer -e lib/libmylib.so.1
CN=VENDOR, OU=Software Development, O=Vendor Inc.

The following exit values are returned:

0 Operation successful sign/verify/request
1 Invalid arguments
2 Failed to verify ELF object verify
3 Unable to open ELF object sign/verify
4 Unable to load or invalid certificate sign/verify
5 Unable to load private key, private key is invalid, or token label is invalid sign
6 Failed to add signature sign
7 Attempt to verify unsigned object or object not an ELF file verify

Directory searched for the verify subcommand if the -c flag is not used

See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability See below.

The elfsign command and subcommands are Committed. While applications should not depend on the output format of elfsign, the output format of the list subcommand is Committed.

date(1), pktool(1), libpkcs11(3LIB), attributes(7), cryptoadm(8)
April 9, 2016 OmniOS