ASN1_generate_nconf, ASN1_generate_v3 - ASN1 generation functions

 #include <openssl/asn1.h>
 ASN1_TYPE *ASN1_generate_nconf(const char *str, CONF *nconf);
 ASN1_TYPE *ASN1_generate_v3(const char *str, X509V3_CTX *cnf);

These functions generate the ASN1 encoding of a string in an ASN1_TYPE structure.

str contains the string to encode nconf or cnf contains the optional configuration information where additional strings will be read from. nconf will typically come from a config file whereas cnf is obtained from an X509V3_CTX structure which will typically be used by X509 v3 certificate extension functions. cnf or nconf can be set to NULL if no additional configuration will be used.

The actual data encoded is determined by the string str and the configuration information. The general format of the string is:


That is zero or more comma separated modifiers followed by a type followed by an optional colon and a value. The formats of type, value and modifier are explained below.

The supported types are listed below. Unless otherwise specified only the ASCII format is permissible.

This encodes a boolean type. The value string is mandatory and should be TRUE or FALSE. Additionally TRUE, true, Y, y, YES, yes, FALSE, false, N, n, NO and no are acceptable.
Encode the NULL type, the value string must not be present.
Encodes an ASN1 INTEGER type. The value string represents the value of the integer, it can be prefaced by a minus sign and is normally interpreted as a decimal value unless the prefix 0x is included.
Encodes the ASN1 ENUMERATED type, it is otherwise identical to INTEGER.
Encodes an ASN1 OBJECT IDENTIFIER, the value string can be a short name, a long name or numerical format.
Encodes an ASN1 UTCTime structure, the value should be in the format YYMMDDHHMMSSZ.
Encodes an ASN1 GeneralizedTime structure, the value should be in the format YYYYMMDDHHMMSSZ.
Encodes an ASN1 OCTET STRING. value represents the contents of this structure, the format strings ASCII and HEX can be used to specify the format of value.
Encodes an ASN1 BIT STRING. value represents the contents of this structure, the format strings ASCII, HEX and BITLIST can be used to specify the format of value.

If the format is anything other than BITLIST the number of unused bits is set to zero.

These encode the corresponding string types. value represents the contents of this structure. The format can be ASCII or UTF8.
Formats the result as an ASN1 SEQUENCE or SET type. value should be a section name which will contain the contents. The field names in the section are ignored and the values are in the generated string format. If value is absent then an empty SEQUENCE will be encoded.

Modifiers affect the following structure, they can be used to add EXPLICIT or IMPLICIT tagging, add wrappers or to change the string format of the final type and value. The supported formats are documented below.

Add an explicit tag to the following structure. This string should be followed by a colon and the tag value to use as a decimal value.

By following the number with U, A, P or C UNIVERSAL, APPLICATION, PRIVATE or CONTEXT SPECIFIC tagging can be used, the default is CONTEXT SPECIFIC.

This is the same as EXPLICIT except IMPLICIT tagging is used instead.
The following structure is surrounded by an OCTET STRING, a SEQUENCE, a SET or a BIT STRING respectively. For a BIT STRING the number of unused bits is set to zero.
This specifies the format of the ultimate value. It should be followed by a colon and one of the strings ASCII, UTF8, HEX or BITLIST.

If no format specifier is included then ASCII is used. If UTF8 is specified then the value string must be a valid UTF8 string. For HEX the output must be a set of hex digits. BITLIST (which is only valid for a BIT STRING) is a comma separated list of the indices of the set bits, all other bits are zero.

ASN1_generate_nconf() and ASN1_generate_v3() return the encoded data as an ASN1_TYPE structure or NULL if an error occurred.

The error codes that can be obtained by ERR_get_error(3).

A simple IA5String:

 IA5STRING:Hello World

An IA5String explicitly tagged:


An IA5String explicitly tagged using APPLICATION tagging:


A BITSTRING with bits 1 and 5 set and all others zero:


A more complex example using a config file to produce a SEQUENCE consisting of a BOOL an OID and a UTF8String:

 asn1 = SEQUENCE:seq_section
 field1 = BOOLEAN:TRUE
 field2 = OID:commonName
 field3 = UTF8:Third field

This example produces an RSAPrivateKey structure, this is the key contained in the file client.pem in all OpenSSL distributions (note: the field names such as 'coeff' are ignored and are present just for clarity):


This example is the corresponding public key in a SubjectPublicKeyInfo structure:

 # Start with a SEQUENCE
 # pubkeyinfo contains an algorithm identifier and the public key wrapped
 # in a BIT STRING
 # algorithm ID for RSA is just an OID and a NULL
 # Actual public key: modulus and exponent


Copyright 2002-2019 The OpenSSL Project Authors. All Rights Reserved.

Licensed under the OpenSSL license (the "License"). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You can obtain a copy in the file LICENSE in the source distribution or at <>.

2023-09-11 1.1.1w