splitting ca_root_nss into component pem files

Kyle Evans kevans at freebsd.org
Fri Feb 12 19:28:28 UTC 2021

On Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 1:23 PM Dan Mahoney (Gushi) <freebsd at gushi.org> wrote:
> Allan (and all),
> I notice FreeBSD now comes with certctl which knows how to split and
> manage trusted SSL certs.  FreeBSD 12.2 includes a /usr/share/ssl/certs
> directory now (no mention of that in the release notes?) and a tool called
> certctl.
> Certctl has (for some reason) been backported to 11.x, where there are no
> individual certs provided by default, so I'm confused as to why this is.

I fully intended to ship 11.4 with them, but pulled them at the last
minute due to some issues with certctl.

> ca_root_nss only provides a monolithic cert.
> Some apps require a directory of hashes and symlinks.  This is common,
> especially when you want to trust your local CA as well as the netscape
> ones.  Additionally, some tools (like sendmail) seem to require the
> symlinked approach.
> Is there a tool (installed with base, or from ports) that will do this
> splitting of ca_root_nss, to some standard directory?  (certctl doesn't
> appear to).

I have some local WIP that's going to split ca_root_nss out like the
base bundle is, so that it's compatible with certctl and friends. My
vision is that ca_root_nss will provide more expedient updates of the
bundle to folks that need it on a better timeline than EN/SA can

> Should this not be a standard thing in the pkg-message for ca_root_nss?
> (This seems to be a tangly problem to google).
> Note I solved this myself a few years back:
> https://gushi.dreamwidth.org/1064679.html, but I'd like to have a "right"
> answer.
> But...this feels like something that should have a base tool AND be in the
> handbook, since the *removal* of a cert from ca_root_nss will cause users
> to still trust it -- a clean rebuild should be possible.

Right, that's the problem I'm hoping to solve by splitting ca_root_nss up.


Kyle Evans

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