SoftHSM version 2
SoftHSM is part of the OpenDNSSEC project. Read more at www.opendnssec.org.
OpenDNSSEC handles and stores its cryptographic keys via the PKCS#11 interface. This interface specifies how to communicate with cryptographic devices such as HSM:s (Hardware Security Modules) and smart cards. The purpose of these devices is, among others, to generate cryptographic keys and sign information without revealing private-key material to the outside world. They are often designed to perform well on these specific tasks compared to ordinary processes in a normal computer.
A potential problem with the use of the PKCS#11 interface is that it might limit the wide spread use of OpenDNSSEC, since a potential user might not be willing to invest in a new hardware device. To counter this effect, OpenDNSSEC is providing a software implementation of a generic cryptographic device with a PKCS#11 interface, the SoftHSM. SoftHSM is designed to meet the requirements of OpenDNSSEC, but can also work together with other cryptographic products because of the PKCS#11 interface.
- Rickard Bellgrim (Knowit Secure AB, www.knowitgroup.com)
- Francis Dupont (ISC, www.isc.org)
- René Post (XPT Software and Consulting, www.xpt.nl)
- Roland van Rijswijk (SURFnet bv, www.surfnet.nl)
SoftHSM depends on a cryptographic library, Botan or OpenSSL. Minimum required versions:
- Botan 2.0.0
- OpenSSL 1.0.0
If you are using Botan, use at least version 2.6.0. This will improve the performance when doing public key operations.
The GNU Autotools (Autoconf, Automake, Libtool) are also required for building the software. It is also recommended to install pkg-config so that the configure script can find the installed software.
There is a migration tool for converting token databases from SoftHSMv1 into the new type of tokens. If this tool is built (--with-migrate), then SQLite3 is required (>= 3.4.2).
SQLite3 is also required if building with the database object store (--with-objectstore-backend-db).
To install SoftHSM as a PKCS#11 module on the system, please install libp11-kit-dev.
The unit tests requires CppUnit.
Building from the repository
If the code is downloaded directly from the code repository, you have to prepare the configuration scripts before continuing.
- You need to install automake, autoconf, libtool, libtool-ltdl-devel (RHEL/CentOS), pkg-config.
- Run the command 'sh autogen.sh'
Configure the installation/compilation scripts:
--disable-non-paged-memory Disable non-paged memory for secure storage (default enabled) --enable-ecc Enable support for ECC (default detect) --enable-gost Enable support for GOST (default detect) --enable-eddsa Enable support for EDDSA (default detect) --disable-visibility Disable hidden visibilty link mode [enabled] --with-crypto-backend Select crypto backend (openssl|botan) --with-openssl=PATH Specify prefix of path of OpenSSL --with-botan=PATH Specify prefix of path of Botan --with-migrate Build the migration tool. Used when migrating a SoftHSM v1 token database. Requires SQLite3 --with-objectstore-backend-db Build with database object store (SQLite3) --with-sqlite3=PATH Specify prefix of path of SQLite3 --disable-p11-kit Disable p11-kit integration (default enabled) --with-p11-kit=PATH Specify install path of the p11-kit module, will override path given by pkg-config
For more options:
Compile the source code using the following command:
Running the unit tests requires CppUnit.
Install the library using the follow command:
sudo make install
The default location of the config file is /etc/softhsm2.conf. This location can be change by setting the environment variable.
Details on the configuration can be found in "man softhsm2.conf".
Create the token directory you defined in your config file:
Use either softhsm2-util or the PKCS#11 interface. The SO PIN can e.g. be used to re-initialize the token and the user PIN is handed out to the application so it can interact with the token.
softhsm2-util --init-token --slot 0 --label "My token 1"
Type in SO PIN and user PIN. Once a token has been initialized, more slots will be added automatically with a new uninitialized token.
Initialized tokens will be reassigned to another slot (based on the token serial number). It is recommended to find and interact with the token by searching for the token label or serial number in the slot list / token info.
Link to this library and use the PKCS#11 interface.
All of the tokens and their objects are stored in the location given by softhsm2.conf. Backup can thus be done as a regular file copy.
Log information is sent to syslog or the Windows event log and the log level is set in the configuration file. Each log event is prepended with the source file name and line number.