# PEM encoded RSA private key

From Just Solve the File Format Problem

**PEM encoded RSA private key** is a format that stores an RSA private key, for use with cryptographic systems such as SSL.

A public key can be derived from the private key, and the public key may be associated with one or more certificate files.

## Contents |

## See also

## Identification

A key file is plain text, with base64-encoded payload data. It contains a line that reads "`-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----`

".

## Examples

To view the contents of a key, using OpenSSL:

openssl rsa -noout -text -in example.key

(This mostly just prints out opaque numbers, but note that the modulus can be used to determine whether the key corresponds to a particular certificate.)

To generate a new private key:

openssl genrsa -out example.key 2048

To add a password to an existing private key:

openssl rsa -des3 -in unprotected.key -out protected.key

To remove a password from an existing private key:

openssl rsa -in protected.key -out unprotected.key