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identifying the proper extensions for .txt SSL certificates

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Last Modified: 2014-03-05
Hello, I have some SSL certs in ASCII format and I am trying to identify what was the proper file type so I can save them and upload them in my systems

The three files I have are all opened in notepad , the filenames are :

root certificate.txt
chain certificate.txt
server certificate.txt

every other time i've worked with SSL I had the files either in .crt , or .cer format, or .pfx. I tried to decode them on the SSLshopper SSL decoder which uses openssl, but it does not show me what extension i need to use.

Thank you
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Question by:sk391
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cristiantm earned 500 total points
ID: 39812039
Extensions are just something to give a hint to your system on what the system will find inside that file.

Certificate files can be basically in two formats: DER or PEM. DER is ANS.1 binary encoded, and PEM is base64 encoded with some header and footer (all printable chars, probably this is what you mean with ASCII format).

Windows will identify CER and CRT extensions as certificates, no matter if the file is in DER or PEM.

Openssl will assume the file is PEM, no matter the extension. If you want to inform a DER file, you need to use the -inform DER parameter when calling it.

From [1] it seems that you need them in PEM for the tool you cite. But the extension does not matter. In fact, if you are talking about that tool, the extension really can not even be seen by the tool since you can only paste the content of the file.

For the system that you want to upload the files, it will depend on the system you are talking about.

Side note about PFX: .PFX usually is a PKCS#12 file, that is not a certificate file. It is another format, that is used for Key transport and may contain a certificate inside. Nut it is not a *certificate* extension/format.

[1] http://www.sslshopper.com/certificate-decoder.html
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