dnssec-keyfromlabel — DNSSEC key generation tool


dnssec-keyfromlabel {-a algorithm} {-l label} [-c class] [-f flag] [-k] [-n nametype] [-p protocol] [-t type] [-v level] {name}


dnssec-keyfromlabel gets keys with the given label from a crypto hardware and builds key files for DNSSEC (Secure DNS), as defined in RFC 2535 and RFC 4034.


-a algorithm

Selects the cryptographic algorithm. The value of algorithm must be one of RSAMD5, RSASHA1, DSA, NSEC3RSASHA1, NSEC3DSA, RSASHA256, RSASHA512 or DH (Diffie Hellman). These values are case insensitive.

If no algorithm is specified, then RSASHA1 will be used by default, unless the -3 option is specified, in which case NSEC3RSASHA1 will be used instead. (If -3 is used and an algorithm is specified, that algorithm will be checked for compatibility with NSEC3.)

Note 1: that for DNSSEC, RSASHA1 is a mandatory to implement algorithm, and DSA is recommended.

Note 2: DH automatically sets the -k flag.

-l label

Specifies the label of keys in the crypto hardware (PKCS#11 device).

-n nametype

Specifies the owner type of the key. The value of nametype must either be ZONE (for a DNSSEC zone key (KEY/DNSKEY)), HOST or ENTITY (for a key associated with a host (KEY)), USER (for a key associated with a user(KEY)) or OTHER (DNSKEY). These values are case insensitive.

-c class

Indicates that the DNS record containing the key should have the specified class. If not specified, class IN is used.

-f flag

Set the specified flag in the flag field of the KEY/DNSKEY record. The only recognized flag is KSK (Key Signing Key) DNSKEY.


Prints a short summary of the options and arguments to dnssec-keygen.


Generate KEY records rather than DNSKEY records.

-p protocol

Sets the protocol value for the generated key. The protocol is a number between 0 and 255. The default is 3 (DNSSEC). Other possible values for this argument are listed in RFC 2535 and its successors.

-t type

Indicates the use of the key. type must be one of AUTHCONF, NOAUTHCONF, NOAUTH, or NOCONF. The default is AUTHCONF. AUTH refers to the ability to authenticate data, and CONF the ability to encrypt data.

-v level

Sets the debugging level.


When dnssec-keyfromlabel completes successfully, it prints a string of the form Knnnn.+aaa+iiiii to the standard output. This is an identification string for the key files it has generated.

  • nnnn is the key name.

  • aaa is the numeric representation of the algorithm.

  • iiiii is the key identifier (or footprint).

dnssec-keyfromlabel creates two files, with names based on the printed string. Knnnn.+aaa+iiiii.key contains the public key, and Knnnn.+aaa+iiiii.private contains the private key.

The .key file contains a DNS KEY record that can be inserted into a zone file (directly or with a $INCLUDE statement).

The .private file contains algorithm specific fields. For obvious security reasons, this file does not have general read permission.


dnssec-keygen(8), dnssec-signzone(8), BIND 9 Administrator Reference Manual, RFC 4034.


Internet Systems Consortium