Linux Command Library


CRL utility

openssl crl [-inform PEM|DER] [-outform PEM|DER] [-text] [-in filename] [-out filename] [-noout] [-hash] [-issuer] [-lastupdate] [-nextupdate] [-CAfile file] [-CApath dir]

The crl command processes CRL files in DER or PEM format.

-inform DER|PEM

This specifies the input format. DER format is DER encoded CRL structure. PEM (the default) is a base64 encoded version of the DER form with header and footer lines.

-outform DER|PEM

This specifies the output format, the options have the same meaning as the -inform option.

-in filename

This specifies the input filename to read from or standard input if this option is not specified.

-out filename

specifies the output filename to write to or standard output by default.


print out the CRL in text form.


don’t output the encoded version of the CRL.


output a hash of the issuer name. This can be use to lookup CRLs in a directory by issuer name.


output the issuer name.


output the lastUpdate field.


output the nextUpdate field.

-CAfile file

verify the signature on a CRL by looking up the issuing certificate in file

-CApath dir

verify the signature on a CRL by looking up the issuing certificate in dir. This directory must be a standard certificate directory: that is a hash of each subject name (using x509 -hash) should be linked to each certificate.

The PEM CRL format uses the header and footer lines:

 -----BEGIN X509 CRL----- -----END X509 CRL-----

Convert a CRL file from PEM to DER:

 openssl crl -in crl.pem -outform DER -out crl.der

Output the text form of a DER encoded certificate:

 openssl crl -in crl.der -text -noout

Ideally it should be possible to create a CRL using appropriate options and files too.

crl2pkcs7(1), ca(1), x509(1)

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