MakeCert

Note

MakeCert is deprecated. To create self-signed certificates, use the Powershell Cmdlet New-SelfSignedCertificate.

 

The MakeCert tool creates an X.509 certificate, signed by the test root key or other specified key, that binds your name to the public part of the key pair. The certificate is saved to a file, a system certificate store, or both. The tool is installed in the \Bin folder of the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) installation path.

MakeCert is available as part of the Windows SDK, which you can download from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=84091.

The MakeCert tool uses the following command syntax:

MakeCert [BasicOptions|ExtendedOptions] OutputFile

OutputFile is the name of the file where the certificate will be written. You can omit OutputFile if the certificate is not to be written to a file.

Options

MakeCert includes basic and extended options. Basic options are those most commonly used to create a certificate. Extended options provide more flexibility.

The options for MakeCert are also divided into three functional groups:

  • Basic options specific to certificate store technology only.
  • Extended options specific to SPC-file and private key technology only.
  • Extended options applicable to SPC-file, private key, and certificate store technology.

Options given in the following tables can be used only with Internet Explorer 4.0 or later.

Basic option Description
-a Algorithm Hash algorithm. Must be set to either SHA-1 or MD5 (default). For information about MD5, see MD5.
-b DateStart Date the certificate first becomes valid. The default is when the certificate is created. The format of DateStart is mm/dd/yyyy.
-cy CertificateTypes Certificate type. CertificateTypes can be end for end-entity, or authority for certification authority.
-e DateEnd Date when the validity period ends. The default is the year 2039.
-eku OID1, OID2 Inserts a list of one or more comma-separated, enhanced key usage object identifiers (OIDs) into the certificate. For example, -eku 1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.2 inserts the client authentication OID. For definitions of allowable OIDs, see the Wincrypt.h file in CryptoAPI 2.0.
-h NumChildren Maximum height of the tree below this certificate.
-l PolicyLink Link to SPC agency policy information (for example, a URL).
-m nMonths Duration of the validity period.
-n "Name" Name for the publisher's certificate. This name must conform to the X.500 standard. The simplest method is to use the "CN=MyName" format. For example: -n "CN=Test".
-nscp The Netscape client authentication extension should be included.
-pe Marks the private key as exportable.
-r Creates a self-signed certificate.
-sc SubjectCertFile Certificate file name with the existing subject public key to be used.
-sk SubjectKey Location of the subject's key container which holds the private key. If a key container does not exist, one is created. If neither the -sk or -sv option is used, a default key container is created and used by default.
-sky SubjectKeySpec Subject's key specification. SubjectKeySpec must be one of three possible values:
  • Signature (AT_SIGNATURE key specification)
  • Exchange (AT_KEYEXCHANGE key specification)
  • An integer, such as 3
For more information, see the Note that follows this table.
-sp SubjectProviderName CryptoAPI provider for subject. The default is the user's provider. For information about CryptoAPI providers, see the CryptoAPI 2.0 documentation.
-sr SubjectCertStoreLocation Registry location of the subject's certificate store. SubjectCertStoreLocation must be either LocalMachine (registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) or CurrentUser (registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER). CurrentUser is the default.
-ss SubjectCertStoreName Name of the subject's certificate store where the generated certificate will be stored.
-sv SubjectKeyFile Name of the subject's .pvk file. If neither the -sk or -sv option is used, a default key container is created and used by default.
-sy nSubjectProviderType CryptoAPI provider type for subject. The default is PROV_RSA_FULL. For information about CryptoAPI provider types, see the CryptoAPI 2.0 documentation.
-# SerialNumber Serial number of the certificate. The maximum value is 2^31. The default is a value generated by the tool that is guaranteed to be unique.
-$ CertificateAuthority Type of certification authority. CertificateAuthority must be set to either commercial (for certificates to be used by commercial software publishers) or individual (for certificates to be used by individual software publishers).
-? Displays the basic options.
-! Displays the extended options.

 

Note

If the -sky key specification option is used in Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, the specification must match the key specification indicated by the private key file or private key container. If the key specification option is not used, the key specification indicated by the private key file or private key container will be used. If there is more than one key specification in the key container, MakeCert will first attempt to use the AT_SIGNATURE key specification. If that fails, MakeCert will try to use AT_KEYEXCHANGE. Because most users have either an AT_SIGNATURE key or an AT_KEYEXCHANGE key, this option does not need to be used in most cases.

 

The following options are only for Software Publisher Certificate (SPC) files and private key technology.

SPC and private key option Description
-ic IssuerCertFile Location of the issuer's certificate.
-ik IssuerKey Location of the issuer's key container. The default is the test root key.
-iky IssuerKeySpec Issuer's key specification, which must be one of three possible values:
  • Signature (AT_SIGNATURE key specification)
  • Exchange (AT_KEYEXCHANGE key specification)
  • An integer, such as 3
For more information, see the Note that follows this table.
-ip IssuerProviderName CryptoAPI provider for issuer. The default is the user's provider. For information about CryptoAPI providers, see the CryptoAPI 2.0 documentation.
-iv IssuerKeyFile Issuer's private key file. The default is the test root.
-iy nIssuerProviderType CryptoAPI provider type for issuer. The default is PROV_RSA_FULL. For information about CryptoAPI provider types, see the CryptoAPI 2.0 documentation.

 

Note

If the -iky key specification option is used in Internet Explorer 4.0 or later, the specification must match the key specification indicated by the private key file or private key container. If the key specification option is not used, the key specification indicated by the private key file or private key container will be used. If there is more than one key specification in the key container, MakeCert will first attempt to use the AT_SIGNATURE key specification. If that fails, MakeCert will try to use AT_KEYEXCHANGE. Because most users have either an AT_SIGNATURE key or an AT_KEYEXCHANGE key, this option does not need to be used in most cases.

 

The following options are for certificate store technology only.

Certificate store option Description
-ic IssuerCertFile File that contains the issuer's certificate. MakeCert will search in the certificate store for a certificate with an exact match.
-in IssuerNameString Common name of the issuer's certificate. MakeCert will search in the certificate store for a certificate whose common name includes IssuerNameString.
-ir IssuerCertStoreLocation Registry location of the issuer's certificate store. IssuerCertStoreLocation must be either LocalMachine (registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE) or CurrentUser (registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER). CurrentUser is the default.
-is IssuerCertStoreName Issuer's certificate store that includes the issuer's certificate and its associated private key information. If there is more than one certificate in the store, the user must uniquely identify it by using the -ic or -in option. If the certificate in the certificate store is not uniquely identified, MakeCert will fail.