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SIGNIFY(1) General Commands Manual SIGNIFY(1)


signifycryptographically sign and verify files


signify -C [-q] -p pubkey -x sigfile [file ...]

signify -G [-n] [-c comment] -p pubkey -s seckey

signify -S [-ez] [-x sigfile] -s seckey -m message

signify -V [-eqz] [-p pubkey] [-t keytype] [-x sigfile] -m message


The signify utility creates and verifies cryptographic signatures. A signature verifies the integrity of a message. The mode of operation is selected with the following options:
Verify a signed checksum list, and then verify the checksum for each file. If no files are specified, all of them are checked. sigfile should be the signed output of sha256(1).
Generate a new key pair. Keynames should follow the convention of keyname.pub and keyname.sec for the public and secret keys, respectively.
Sign the specified message file and create a signature.
Verify the message and signature match.
The other options are as follows:
-c comment
Specify the comment to be added during key generation.
When signing, embed the message after the signature. When verifying, extract the message from the signature. (This requires that the signature was created using -e and creates a new message file as output.)
-m message
When signing, the file containing the message to sign. When verifying, the file containing the message to verify. When verifying with -e, the file to create.
Do not ask for a passphrase during key generation. Otherwise, signify will prompt the user for a passphrase to protect the secret key.
-p pubkey
Public key produced by -G, and used by -V to check a signature.
Quiet mode. Suppress informational output.
-s seckey
Secret (private) key produced by -G, and used by -S to sign a message.
-t keytype
When deducing the correct key to check a signature, make sure the actual key matches /etc/signify/*-keytype.pub.
-x sigfile
The signature file to create or verify. The default is message.sig.
Sign and verify gzip(1) archives, where the signing data is embedded in the gzip(1) header.
The key and signature files created by signify have the same format. The first line of the file is a free form text comment that may be edited, so long as it does not exceed a single line. Signature comments will be generated based on the name of the secret key used for signing. This comment can then be used as a hint for the name of the public key when verifying. The second line of the file is the actual key or signature base64 encoded.


The signify utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs. It may fail because of one of the following reasons:


Create a new key pair:
$ signify -G -p newkey.pub -s newkey.sec
Sign a file, specifying a signature name:
$ signify -S -s key.sec -m message.txt -x msg.sig
Verify a signature, using the default signature name:
$ signify -V -p key.pub -m generalsorders.txt
Verify a release directory containing SHA256.sig and a full set of release files:
$ signify -C -p /etc/signify/openbsd-62-base.pub -x SHA256.sig
Verify a bsd.rd before an upgrade:
$ signify -C -p /etc/signify/openbsd-62-base.pub -x SHA256.sig bsd.rd
Sign a gzip archive:
$ signify -Sz -s key-arc.sec -m in.tgz -x out.tgz
Verify a gzip pipeline:
$ ftp url | signify -Vz -t arc | tar ztf -


fw_update(1), gzip(1), pkg_add(1), sha256(1)


The signify command first appeared in OpenBSD 5.5.


Ted Unangst <tedu@openbsd.org> and Marc Espie <espie@openbsd.org>.
March 9, 2017 OpenBSD-current