Golang : Create x509 certificate, private and public keys

Instead of using openssl to generate public and private keys. Go can generate x509 certificates and equivalent RSA private/public keys as well. In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the crypto/x509 to create certificates and crypto/rsa package to create private/public keys.

We will save the files with two methods. The first is with ioutil.WriteFile and followed by the GOB encoded files. You can compare the generated files and use the methods that you preferred for your codes.

Source code:

 package main

 import (

 func main() {

 // ok, lets populate the certificate with some data
 // not all fields in Certificate will be populated
 // see Certificate structure at
 // http://golang.org/pkg/crypto/x509/#Certificate
 template := &x509.Certificate {
 IsCA : true,
 BasicConstraintsValid : true,
 SubjectKeyId : []byte{1,2,3},
 SerialNumber : big.NewInt(1234),
 Subject : pkix.Name{
 Country : []string{"Earth"},
 Organization: []string{"Mother Nature"},
 NotBefore : time.Now(),
 NotAfter : time.Now().AddDate(5,5,5),
 // see http://golang.org/pkg/crypto/x509/#KeyUsage
 ExtKeyUsage : []x509.ExtKeyUsage{x509.ExtKeyUsageClientAuth, x509.ExtKeyUsageServerAuth},
 KeyUsage : x509.KeyUsageDigitalSignature|x509.KeyUsageCertSign,

 // generate private key
 privatekey, err := rsa.GenerateKey(rand.Reader, 2048)

 if err != nil {

 publickey := &privatekey.PublicKey

 // create a self-signed certificate. template = parent
 var parent = template
 cert, err := x509.CreateCertificate(rand.Reader, template, parent, publickey,privatekey)

 if err != nil {

 // save private key
 pkey := x509.MarshalPKCS1PrivateKey(privatekey)
 ioutil.WriteFile("private.key", pkey, 0777)
 fmt.Println("private key saved to private.key")

 // save public key
 pubkey, _ := x509.MarshalPKIXPublicKey(publickey)
 ioutil.WriteFile("public.key", pubkey, 0777)
 fmt.Println("public key saved to public.key")

 // save cert
 ioutil.WriteFile("cert.pem", cert, 0777)
 fmt.Println("certificate saved to cert.pem")

 // these are the files save with encoding/gob style
 privkeyfile, _ := os.Create("privategob.key")
 privkeyencoder := gob.NewEncoder(privkeyfile)

 pubkeyfile, _ := os.Create("publickgob.key")
 pubkeyencoder := gob.NewEncoder(pubkeyfile)

 // this will create plain text PEM file.
 pemfile, _ := os.Create("certpem.pem")
 var pemkey = &pem.Block{
 Bytes : x509.MarshalPKCS1PrivateKey(privatekey)}
 pem.Encode(pemfile, pemkey)


Reference : https://www.socketloop.com/tutorials/golang-saving-private-and-public-key-to-files



By Adam Ng

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