ntp-keygen(1) User Commands ntp-keygen(1)
ntp-keygen - Create a NTP host key
ntp-keygen [-flags] [-flag [value]] [--option-name[[=| ]value]]
All arguments must be options.
This program generates cryptographic data files used by the NTPv4 authentication and identification schemes. It can generate message
digest keys used in symmetric key cryptography and, if the OpenSSL software library has been installed, it can generate host keys, signing
keys, certificates, and identity keys and parameters used in Autokey public key cryptography. These files are used for cookie encryption,
digital signature, and challenge/response identification algorithms compatible with the Internet standard security infrastructure.
The message digest symmetric keys file is generated in a format compatible with NTPv3. All other files are in PEM-encoded printable ASCII
format, so they can be embedded as MIME attachments in email to other sites and certificate authorities. By default, files are not
When used to generate message digest symmetric keys, the program produces a file containing ten pseudo-random printable ASCII strings suit-
able for the MD5 message digest algorithm included in the distribution. If the OpenSSL library is installed, it produces an additional ten
hex-encoded random bit strings suitable for SHA1, AES-128-CMAC, and other message digest algorithms. The message digest symmetric keys
file must be distributed and stored using secure means beyond the scope of NTP itself. Besides the keys used for ordinary NTP associa-
tions, additional keys can be defined as passwords for the ntpq(1) and ntpdc(1) utility programs.
The remaining generated files are compatible with other OpenSSL applications and other Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) resources. Certifi-
cates generated by this program are compatible with extant industry practice, although some users might find the interpretation of X509v3
extension fields somewhat liberal. However, the identity keys are probably not compatible with anything other than Autokey.
Some files used by this program are encrypted using a private password. The -p option specifies the read password for local encrypted
files and the -q option the write password for encrypted files sent to remote sites. If no password is specified, the host name returned
by the Unix hostname(1) command, normally the DNS name of the host, is used as the the default read password, for convenience. The ntp-
keygen program prompts for the password if it reads an encrypted file and the password is missing or incorrect. If an encrypted file is
read successfully and no write password is specified, the read password is used as the write password by default.
The pw option of the crypto ntpd(1) configuration command specifies the read password for previously encrypted local files. This must
match the local read password used by this program. If not specified, the host name is used. Thus, if files are generated by this program
without an explicit password, they can be read back by ntpd(1) without specifying an explicit password but only on the same host. If the
write password used for encryption is specified as the host name, these files can be read by that host with no explicit password.
Normally, encrypted files for each host are generated by that host and used only by that host, although exceptions exist as noted later on
this page. The symmetric keys file, normally called ntp.keys, is usually installed in /etc. Other files and links are usually installed
in /usr/local/etc, which is normally in a shared filesystem in NFS-mounted networks and cannot be changed by shared clients. In these
cases, NFS clients can specify the files in another directory such as /etc using the keysdir ntpd(1) configuration file command.
This program directs commentary and error messages to the standard error stream stderr and remote files to the standard output stream std-
out where they can be piped to other applications or redirected to files. The names used for generated files and links all begin with the
string ntpkey* and include the file type, generating host and filestamp, as described in the Cryptographic Data Files section below.
Running the Program
The safest way to run the ntp-keygen program is logged in directly as root. The recommended procedure is change to the keys directory,
usually /usr/local/etc, then run the program.
To test and gain experience with Autokey concepts, log in as root and change to the keys directory, usually /usr/local/etc. When run for
the first time, or if all files with names beginning with ntpkey* have been removed, use the ntp-keygen command without arguments to gener-
ate a default RSA host key and matching RSA-MD5 certificate file with expiration date one year hence, which is all that is necessary in
many cases. The program also generates soft links from the generic names to the respective files. If run again without options, the pro-
gram uses the existing keys and parameters and generates a new certificate file with new expiration date one year hence, and soft link.
The host key is used to encrypt the cookie when required and so must be RSA type. By default, the host key is also the sign key used to
encrypt signatures. When necessary, a different sign key can be specified and this can be either RSA or DSA type. By default, the message
digest type is MD5, but any combination of sign key type and message digest type supported by the OpenSSL library can be specified, includ-
ing those using the AES128CMAC, MD2, MD5, MDC2, SHA, SHA1 and RIPE160 message digest algorithms. However, the scheme specified in the cer-
tificate must be compatible with the sign key. Certificates using any digest algorithm are compatible with RSA sign keys; however, only
SHA and SHA1 certificates are compatible with DSA sign keys.
Private/public key files and certificates are compatible with other OpenSSL applications and very likely other libraries as well. Certifi-
cates or certificate requests derived from them should be compatible with extant industry practice, although some users might find the
interpretation of X509v3 extension fields somewhat liberal. However, the identification parameter files, although encoded as the other
files, are probably not compatible with anything other than Autokey.
Running the program as other than root and using the Unix su(1) command to assume root may not work properly, since by default the OpenSSL
library looks for the random seed file .rnd in the user home directory. However, there should be only one .rnd, most conveniently in the
root directory, so it is convenient to define the RANDFILE environment variable used by the OpenSSL library as the path to .rnd.
Installing the keys as root might not work in NFS-mounted shared file systems, as NFS clients may not be able to write to the shared keys
directory, even as root. In this case, NFS clients can specify the files in another directory such as /etc using the keysdir ntpd(1) con-
figuration file command. There is no need for one client to read the keys and certificates of other clients or servers, as these data are
obtained automatically by the Autokey protocol.
Ordinarily, cryptographic files are generated by the host that uses them, but it is possible for a trusted agent (TA) to generate these
files for other hosts; however, in such cases files should always be encrypted. The subject name and trusted name default to the hostname
of the host generating the files, but can be changed by command line options. It is convenient to designate the owner name and trusted
name as the subject and issuer fields, respectively, of the certificate. The owner name is also used for the host and sign key files,
while the trusted name is used for the identity files.
All files are installed by default in the keys directory /usr/local/etc, which is normally in a shared filesystem in NFS-mounted networks.
The actual location of the keys directory and each file can be overridden by configuration commands, but this is not recommended. Nor-
mally, the files for each host are generated by that host and used only by that host, although exceptions exist as noted later on this
Normally, files containing private values, including the host key, sign key and identification parameters, are permitted root read/write-
only; while others containing public values are permitted world readable. Alternatively, files containing private values can be encrypted
and these files permitted world readable, which simplifies maintenance in shared file systems. Since uniqueness is insured by the hostname
and filestamp file name extensions, the files for an NTP server and dependent clients can all be installed in the same shared directory.
The recommended practice is to keep the file name extensions when installing a file and to install a soft link from the generic names spec-
ified elsewhere on this page to the generated files. This allows new file generations to be activated simply by changing the link. If a
link is present, ntpd(1) follows it to the file name to extract the filestamp. If a link is not present, ntpd(1) extracts the filestamp
from the file itself. This allows clients to verify that the file and generation times are always current. The ntp-keygen program uses
the same filestamp extension for all files generated at one time, so each generation is distinct and can be readily recognized in monitor-
Run the command on as many hosts as necessary. Designate one of them as the trusted host (TH) using ntp-keygen with the -T option and con-
figure it to synchronize from reliable Internet servers. Then configure the other hosts to synchronize to the TH directly or indirectly.
A certificate trail is created when Autokey asks the immediately ascendant host towards the TH to sign its certificate, which is then pro-
vided to the immediately descendant host on request. All group hosts should have acyclic certificate trails ending on the TH.
The host key is used to encrypt the cookie when required and so must be RSA type. By default, the host key is also the sign key used to
encrypt signatures. A different sign key can be assigned using the -S option and this can be either RSA or DSA type. By default, the sig-
nature message digest type is MD5, but any combination of sign key type and message digest type supported by the OpenSSL library can be
specified using the -c option.
The rules say cryptographic media should be generated with proventic filestamps, which means the host should already be synchronized before
this program is run. This of course creates a chicken-and-egg problem when the host is started for the first time. Accordingly, the host
time should be set by some other means, such as eyeball-and-wristwatch, at least so that the certificate lifetime is within the current
year. After that and when the host is synchronized to a proventic source, the certificate should be re-generated.
Additional information on trusted groups and identity schemes is on the Autokey Public-Key Authentication page.
File names begin with the prefix ntpkey_ and end with the suffix _hostname. filestamp, where hostname is the owner name, usually the string
returned by the Unix hostname(1) command, and filestamp is the NTP seconds when the file was generated, in decimal digits. This both guar-
antees uniqueness and simplifies maintenance procedures, since all files can be quickly removed by a rm ntpkey* command or all files gener-
ated at a specific time can be removed by a rm *filestamp command. To further reduce the risk of misconfiguration, the first two lines of
a file contain the file name and generation date and time as comments.
Trusted Hosts and Groups
Each cryptographic configuration involves selection of a signature scheme and identification scheme, called a cryptotype, as explained in
the Authentication Options section of ntp.conf(5). The default cryptotype uses RSA encryption, MD5 message digest and TC identification.
First, configure a NTP subnet including one or more low-stratum trusted hosts from which all other hosts derive synchronization directly or
indirectly. Trusted hosts have trusted certificates; all other hosts have nontrusted certificates. These hosts will automatically and
dynamically build authoritative certificate trails to one or more trusted hosts. A trusted group is the set of all hosts that have,
directly or indirectly, a certificate trail ending at a trusted host. The trail is defined by static configuration file entries or dynamic
means described on the Automatic NTP Configuration Options section of ntp.conf(5).
On each trusted host as root, change to the keys directory. To insure a fresh fileset, remove all ntpkey files. Then run ntp-keygen -T to
generate keys and a trusted certificate. On all other hosts do the same, but leave off the -T flag to generate keys and nontrusted cer-
tificates. When complete, start the NTP daemons beginning at the lowest stratum and working up the tree. It may take some time for
Autokey to instantiate the certificate trails throughout the subnet, but setting up the environment is completely automatic.
If it is necessary to use a different sign key or different digest/signature scheme than the default, run ntp-keygen with the -S type
option, where type is either RSA or DSA. The most frequent need to do this is when a DSA-signed certificate is used. If it is necessary
to use a different certificate scheme than the default, run ntp-keygen with the -c scheme option and selected scheme as needed. If ntp-
keygen is run again without these options, it generates a new certificate using the same scheme and sign key, and soft link.
After setting up the environment it is advisable to update certificates from time to time, if only to extend the validity interval. Simply
run ntp-keygen with the same flags as before to generate new certificates using existing keys, and soft links. However, if the host or
sign key is changed, ntpd(1) should be restarted. When ntpd(1) is restarted, it loads any new files and restarts the protocol. Other
dependent hosts will continue as usual until signatures are refreshed, at which time the protocol is restarted.
As mentioned on the Autonomous Authentication page, the default TC identity scheme is vulnerable to a middleman attack. However, there are
more secure identity schemes available, including PC, IFF, GQ and MV schemes described below. These schemes are based on a TA, one or more
trusted hosts and some number of nontrusted hosts. Trusted hosts prove identity using values provided by the TA, while the remaining hosts
prove identity using values provided by a trusted host and certificate trails that end on that host. The name of a trusted host is also
the name of its sugroup and also the subject and issuer name on its trusted certificate. The TA is not necessarily a trusted host in this
sense, but often is.
In some schemes there are separate keys for servers and clients. A server can also be a client of another server, but a client can never
be a server for another client. In general, trusted hosts and nontrusted hosts that operate as both server and client have parameter files
that contain both server and client keys. Hosts that operate only as clients have key files that contain only client keys.
The PC scheme supports only one trusted host in the group. On trusted host alice run ntp-keygen -P -p password to generate the host key
file ntpkey_ RSA key_alice. filestamp and trusted private certificate file ntpkey_ RSA-MD5 _ cert_alice. filestamp, and soft links. Copy
both files to all group hosts; they replace the files which would be generated in other schemes. On each host bob install a soft link from
the generic name ntpkey_host_bob to the host key file and soft link ntpkey_cert_bob to the private certificate file. Note the generic
links are on bob, but point to files generated by trusted host alice. In this scheme it is not possible to refresh either the keys or cer-
tificates without copying them to all other hosts in the group, and recreating the soft links.
For the IFF scheme proceed as in the TC scheme to generate keys and certificates for all group hosts, then for every trusted host in the
group, generate the IFF parameter file. On trusted host alice run ntp-keygen -T -I -p password to produce her parameter file ntpkey_IFF-
par_alice.filestamp, which includes both server and client keys. Copy this file to all group hosts that operate as both servers and
clients and install a soft link from the generic ntpkey_iff_alice to this file. If there are no hosts restricted to operate only as
clients, there is nothing further to do. As the IFF scheme is independent of keys and certificates, these files can be refreshed as
If a rogue client has the parameter file, it could masquerade as a legitimate server and present a middleman threat. To eliminate this
threat, the client keys can be extracted from the parameter file and distributed to all restricted clients. After generating the parameter
file, on alice run ntp-keygen -e and pipe the output to a file or email program. Copy or email this file to all restricted clients. On
these clients install a soft link from the generic ntpkey_iff_alice to this file. To further protect the integrity of the keys, each file
can be encrypted with a secret password.
For the GQ scheme proceed as in the TC scheme to generate keys and certificates for all group hosts, then for every trusted host in the
group, generate the IFF parameter file. On trusted host alice run ntp-keygen -T -G -p password to produce her parameter file ntp-
key_GQpar_alice.filestamp, which includes both server and client keys. Copy this file to all group hosts and install a soft link from the
generic ntpkey_gq_alice to this file. In addition, on each host bob install a soft link from generic ntpkey_gq_bob to this file. As the
GQ scheme updates the GQ parameters file and certificate at the same time, keys and certificates can be regenerated as needed.
For the MV scheme, proceed as in the TC scheme to generate keys and certificates for all group hosts. For illustration assume trish is the
TA, alice one of several trusted hosts and bob one of her clients. On TA trish run ntp-keygen -V n -p password, where n is the number of
revokable keys (typically 5) to produce the parameter file ntpkeys_MVpar_trish.filestamp and client key files ntpkeys_MVkeyd _ trish.
filestamp where d is the key number (0 < d < n). Copy the parameter file to alice and install a soft link from the generic ntpkey_mv_alice
to this file. Copy one of the client key files to alice for later distribution to her clients. It does not matter which client key file
goes to alice, since they all work the same way. Alice copies the client key file to all of her clients. On client bob install a soft
link from generic ntpkey_mvkey_bob to the client key file. As the MV scheme is independent of keys and certificates, these files can be
refreshed as needed.
Command Line Options
-b --imbits= modulus
Set the number of bits in the identity modulus for generating identity keys to modulus bits. The number of bits in the identity
modulus defaults to 256, but can be set to values from 256 to 2048 (32 to 256 octets). Use the larger moduli with caution, as this
can consume considerable computing resources and increases the size of authenticated packets.
-c --certificate= scheme
Select certificate signature encryption/message digest scheme. The scheme can be one of the following: RSA-MD2, RSA-MD5, RSA-MDC2,
RSA-SHA, RSA-SHA1, RSA-RIPEMD160, DSA-SHA, or DSA-SHA1. Note that RSA schemes must be used with an RSA sign key and DSA schemes
must be used with a DSA sign key. The default without this option is RSA-MD5. If compatibility with FIPS 140-2 is required, either
the DSA-SHA or DSA-SHA1 scheme must be used.
-C --cipher= cipher
Select the OpenSSL cipher to encrypt the files containing private keys. The default without this option is three-key triple DES in
CBC mode, des-ede3-cbc. The openssl -h command provided with OpenSSL displays available ciphers.
Increase debugging verbosity level. This option displays the cryptographic data produced in eye-friendly billboards.
-D --set-debug-level= level
Set the debugging verbosity to level. This option displays the cryptographic data produced in eye-friendly billboards.
Write the IFF or GQ public parameters from the IFFkey or GQkey client keys file previously specified as unencrypted data to the
standard output stream stdout. This is intended for automatic key distribution by email.
Generate a new encrypted GQ parameters and key file for the Guillou-Quisquater (GQ) identity scheme. This option is mutually exclu-
sive with the -I and -V options.
Generate a new encrypted RSA public/private host key file.
Generate a new encrypted IFF key file for the Schnorr (IFF) identity scheme. This option is mutually exclusive with the -G and Fl V
-i --ident= group
Set the optional Autokey group name to group. This is used in the identity scheme parameter file names of IFF, GQ, and MV client
parameters files. In that role, the default is the host name if no group is provided. The group name, if specified using -i or -s
following an '@@' character, is also used in certificate subject and issuer names in the form host @@ group and should match the
group specified via crypto ident or server ident in the ntpd configuration file.
-l --lifetime= days
Set the lifetime for certificate expiration to days. The default lifetime is one year (365 days).
-m --modulus= bits
Set the number of bits in the prime modulus for generating files to bits. The modulus defaults to 512, but can be set from 256 to
2048 (32 to 256 octets). Use the larger moduli with caution, as this can consume considerable computing resources and increases the
size of authenticated packets.
Generate a new symmetric keys file containing 10 MD5 keys, and if OpenSSL is available, 10 SHA keys. An MD5 key is a string of 20
random printable ASCII characters, while a SHA key is a string of 40 random hex digits. The file can be edited using a text editor
to change the key type or key content. This option is mutually exclusive with all other options.
-p --password= passwd
Set the password for reading and writing encrypted files to passwd. These include the host, sign and identify key files. By
default, the password is the string returned by the Unix hostname command.
Generate a new private certificate used by the PC identity scheme. By default, the program generates public certificates. Note:
the PC identity scheme is not recommended for new installations.
-q --export-passwd= passwd
Set the password for writing encrypted IFF, GQ and MV identity files redirected to stdout to passwd. In effect, these files are
decrypted with the -p password, then encrypted with the -q password. By default, the password is the string returned by the Unix
-s --subject-key= [host] [@@ group]
Specify the Autokey host name, where host is the optional host name and group is the optional group name. The host name, and if
provided, group name are used in host @@ group form as certificate subject and issuer. Specifying -s -@@ group is allowed, and
results in leaving the host name unchanged, as with -i group. The group name, or if no group is provided, the host name are also
used in the file names of IFF, GQ, and MV identity scheme client parameter files. If host is not specified, the default host name
is the string returned by the Unix hostname command.
-S --sign-key= [RSA | DSA]
Generate a new encrypted public/private sign key file of the specified type. By default, the sign key is the host key and has the
same type. If compatibility with FIPS 140-2 is required, the sign key type must be DSA.
Generate a trusted certificate. By default, the program generates a non-trusted certificate.
-V --mv-params nkeys
Generate nkeys encrypted server keys and parameters for the Mu-Varadharajan (MV) identity scheme. This option is mutually exclusive
with the -I and -G options. Note: support for this option should be considered a work in progress.
Random Seed File
All cryptographically sound key generation schemes must have means to randomize the entropy seed used to initialize the internal pseudo-
random number generator used by the library routines. The OpenSSL library uses a designated random seed file for this purpose. The file
must be available when starting the NTP daemon and ntp-keygen program. If a site supports OpenSSL or its companion OpenSSH, it is very
likely that means to do this are already available.
It is important to understand that entropy must be evolved for each generation, for otherwise the random number sequence would be pre-
dictable. Various means dependent on external events, such as keystroke intervals, can be used to do this and some systems have built-in
entropy sources. Suitable means are described in the OpenSSL software documentation, but are outside the scope of this page.
The entropy seed used by the OpenSSL library is contained in a file, usually called .rnd, which must be available when starting the NTP
daemon or the ntp-keygen program. The NTP daemon will first look for the file using the path specified by the randfile subcommand of the
crypto configuration command. If not specified in this way, or when starting the ntp-keygen program, the OpenSSL library will look for the
file using the path specified by the RANDFILE environment variable in the user home directory, whether root or some other user. If the
RANDFILE environment variable is not present, the library will look for the .rnd file in the user home directory. Since both the ntp-key-
gen program and ntpd(1) daemon must run as root, the logical place to put this file is in /.rnd or /root/.rnd. If the file is not avail-
able or cannot be written, the daemon exits with a message to the system log and the program exits with a suitable error message.
Cryptographic Data Files
All file formats begin with two nonencrypted lines. The first line contains the file name, including the generated host name and
filestamp, in the format ntpkey_key _ name. filestamp, where key is the key or parameter type, name is the host or group name and filestamp
is the filestamp (NTP seconds) when the file was created. By convention, key names in generated file names include both upper and lower
case characters, while key names in generated link names include only lower case characters. The filestamp is not used in generated link
names. The second line contains the datestamp in conventional Unix date format. Lines beginning with '#' are considered comments and
ignored by the ntp-keygen program and ntpd(1) daemon.
The remainder of the file contains cryptographic data, encoded first using ASN.1 rules, then encrypted if necessary, and finally written in
PEM-encoded printable ASCII text, preceded and followed by MIME content identifier lines.
The format of the symmetric keys file, ordinarily named ntp.keys, is somewhat different than the other files in the interest of backward
compatibility. Ordinarily, the file is generated by this program, but it can be constructed and edited using an ordinary text editor.
# Thu Dec 12 19:22:25 2013
1 MD5 L";Nw<`.I<f4U0)247"i # MD5 key
2 MD5 &>l0%XXK9O'51VwV<xq~ # MD5 key
3 MD5 lb4zLW~d^!K:]RsD'qb6 # MD5 key
4 MD5 Yue:tL[+vR)M`n~bY,'? # MD5 key
5 MD5 B;fx'Kgr/&4ZTbL6=RxA # MD5 key
6 MD5 4eYwa`o}3i@@@@V@@..R9!l # MD5 key
7 MD5 `A.([h+;wTQ|xfi%Sn_! # MD5 key
8 MD5 45:V,r4]l6y^JH6"Sh?F # MD5 key
9 MD5 3-5vcn*6l29DS?Xdsg)* # MD5 key
10 MD5 2late4Me # MD5 key
11 SHA1 a27872d3030a9025b8446c751b4551a7629af65c # SHA1 key
12 SHA1 21bc3b4865dbb9e920902abdccb3e04ff97a5e74 # SHA1 key
13 SHA1 2b7736fe24fef5ba85ae11594132ab5d6f6daba9 # SHA1 key
14 SHA a5332809c8878dd3a5b918819108a111509aeceb # SHA key
15 MD2 2fe16c88c760ff2f16d4267e36c1aa6c926e6964 # MD2 key
16 MD4 b2691811dc19cfc0e2f9bcacd74213f29812183d # MD4 key
17 MD5 e4d6735b8bdad58ec5ffcb087300a17f7fef1f7c # MD5 key
18 MDC2 a8d5e2315c025bf3a79174c87fbd10477de2eabc # MDC2 key
19 RIPEMD160 77ca332cafb30e3cafb174dcd5b80ded7ba9b3d2 # RIPEMD160 key
20 AES128CMAC f92ff73eee86c1e7dc638d6489a04e4e555af878 # AES128CMAC key
Figure 1. Typical Symmetric Key File
Figure 1 shows a typical symmetric keys file used by the reference implementation. Following the header the keys are entered one per line
in the format
keyno type key
where keyno is a positive integer in the range 1-65535; type is the key type for the message digest algorithm, which in the absence of the
OpenSSL library must be MD5 to designate the MD5 message digest algorithm; if the OpenSSL library is installed, the key type can be any
message digest algorithm supported by that library; however, if compatibility with FIPS 140-2 is required, the key type must be either SHA
or SHA1; key is the key itself, which is a printable ASCII string 20 characters or less in length: each character is chosen from the 93
printable characters in the range 0x21 through 0x7e ( ''! through '~' ) excluding space and the '#' character, and terminated by white-
space or a '#' character. An OpenSSL key consists of a hex-encoded ASCII string of 40 characters, which is truncated as necessary.
Note that the keys used by the ntpq(1) and ntpdc(1) programs are checked against passwords requested by the programs and entered by hand,
so it is generally appropriate to specify these keys in human readable ASCII format.
The ntp-keygen program generates a symmetric keys file ntpkey_MD5key_hostname. filestamp. Since the file contains private shared keys, it
should be visible only to root and distributed by secure means to other subnet hosts. The NTP daemon loads the file ntp.keys, so ntp-key-
gen installs a soft link from this name to the generated file. Subsequently, similar soft links must be installed by manual or automated
means on the other subnet hosts. While this file is not used with the Autokey Version 2 protocol, it is needed to authenticate some remote
configuration commands used by the ntpq(1) and ntpdc(1) utilities.
-b imbits, --imbits=imbits
identity modulus bits. This option takes an integer number as its argument. The value of imbits is constrained to being:
in the range 256 through 2048
The number of bits in the identity modulus. The default is 256.
-c scheme, --certificate=scheme
scheme is one of RSA-MD2, RSA-MD5, RSA-MDC2, RSA-SHA, RSA-SHA1, RSA-RIPEMD160, DSA-SHA, or DSA-SHA1.
Select the certificate signature encryption/message digest scheme. Note that RSA schemes must be used with a RSA sign key and DSA
schemes must be used with a DSA sign key. The default without this option is RSA-MD5.
-C cipher, --cipher=cipher
Select the cipher which is used to encrypt the files containing private keys. The default is three-key triple DES in CBC mode,
equivalent to "-C des-ede3-cbc". The openssl tool lists ciphers available in "openssl -h" output.
Increase debug verbosity level. This option may appear an unlimited number of times.
-D number, --set-debug-level=number
Set the debug verbosity level. This option may appear an unlimited number of times. This option takes an integer number as its
Write IFF or GQ identity keys.
Write the public parameters from the IFF or GQ client keys to the standard output. This is intended for automatic key distribution
Generate GQ parameters and keys.
Generate parameters and keys for the GQ identification scheme, obsoleting any that may exist.
generate RSA host key.
Generate new host keys, obsoleting any that may exist.
generate IFF parameters.
Generate parameters for the IFF identification scheme, obsoleting any that may exist.
-i group, --ident=group
set Autokey group name.
Set the optional Autokey group name to name. This is used in the file name of IFF, GQ, and MV client parameters files. In that
role, the default is the host name if this option is not provided. The group name, if specified using -i/--ident or using -s/--sub-
ject-name following an '@@' character, is also a part of the self-signed host certificate subject and issuer names in the form
host@@group and should match the ntpd configuration file.
-l lifetime, --lifetime=lifetime
set certificate lifetime. This option takes an integer number as its argument.
Set the certificate expiration to lifetime days from now.
-m modulus, --modulus=modulus
prime modulus. This option takes an integer number as its argument. The value of modulus is constrained to being:
in the range 256 through 2048
The number of bits in the prime modulus. The default is 512.
generate symmetric keys.
Generate symmetric keys, obsoleting any that may exist.
generate PC private certificate.
Generate a private certificate. By default, the program generates public certificates.
-p passwd, --password=passwd
local private password.
Local files containing private data are encrypted with the DES-CBC algorithm and the specified password. The same password must be
specified to the local ntpd via the "crypto pw password" configuration command. The default password is the local hostname.
-q passwd, --export-passwd=passwd
export IFF or GQ group keys with password.
Export IFF or GQ identity group keys to the standard output, encrypted with the DES-CBC algorithm and the specified password. The
same password must be specified to the remote ntpd via the "crypto pw password" configuration command. See also the option --id-key
(-e) for unencrypted exports.
-s host@group, --subject-name=host@group
set host and optionally group name.
Set the Autokey host name, and optionally, group name specified following an '@@' character. The host name is used in the file name
of generated host and signing certificates, without the group name. The host name, and if provided, group name are used in
host@@group form for the host certificate subject and issuer fields. Specifying '-s @@group' is allowed, and results in leaving the
host name unchanged while appending @@group to the subject and issuer fields, as with -i group. The group name, or if not provided,
the host name are also used in the file names of IFF, GQ, and MV client parameter files.
-S sign, --sign-key=sign
generate sign key (RSA or DSA).
Generate a new sign key of the designated type, obsoleting any that may exist. By default, the program uses the host key as the
trusted certificate (TC scheme).
Generate a trusted certificate. By default, the program generates a non-trusted certificate.
-V num, --mv-params=num
generate <num> MV parameters. This option takes an integer number as its argument.
Generate parameters and keys for the Mu-Varadharajan (MV) identification scheme.
-v num, --mv-keys=num
update <num> MV keys. This option takes an integer number as its argument.
This option has not been fully documented.
Display usage information and exit.
Pass the extended usage information through a pager.
-> [cfgfile], --save-opts [=cfgfile]
Save the option state to cfgfile. The default is the last configuration file listed in the OPTION PRESETS section, below. The com-
mand will exit after updating the config file.
-< cfgfile, --load-opts=cfgfile, --no-load-opts
Load options from cfgfile. The no-load-opts form will disable the loading of earlier config/rc/ini files. --no-load-opts is han-
dled early, out of order.
Output version of program and exit. The default mode is `v', a simple version. The `c' mode will print copyright information and
`n' will print the full copyright notice.
Any option that is not marked as not presettable may be preset by loading values from configuration ("RC" or ".INI") file(s) and values
from environment variables named:
NTP_KEYGEN_<option-name> or NTP_KEYGEN
The environmental presets take precedence (are processed later than) the configuration files. The homerc files are "$HOME", and ".". If
any of these are directories, then the file .ntprc is searched for within those directories.
See OPTION PRESETS for configuration environment variables.
See OPTION PRESETS for configuration files.
One of the following exit values will be returned:
Successful program execution.
The operation failed or the command syntax was not valid.
A specified configuration file could not be loaded.
libopts had an internal operational error. Please report it to email@example.com. Thank you.
The University of Delaware and Network Time Foundation
Copyright (C) 1992-2017 The University of Delaware and Network Time Foundation all rights reserved. This program is released under the
terms of the NTP license, <http://ntp.org/license>.
It can take quite a while to generate some cryptographic values.
Please report bugs to http://bugs.ntp.org .
Please send bug reports to: http://bugs.ntp.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Portions of this document came from FreeBSD.
This manual page was AutoGen-erated from the ntp-keygen option definitions.
ntp (4.2.8p13) 20 Feb 2019 ntp-keygen(1)