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Commands Reference, Volume 2

dnssec-signkey Command


DNSSEC key set signing tool.


dnssec-signkey [-a] [-c class] [-s start-time] [-e end-time] [-h] [-p] [-r randomdev] [-v level] keyset key



The dnssec-signkey command signs a keyset. Typically the keyset will be for a child zone, and will have been generated by dnssec-makekeyset. The child zone's keyset is signed with the zone keys for its parent zone. The output file is of the form signedkey-nnnn., where nnnn is the zone name.


-a Verify all generated signatures.
-c class Specifies the DNS class of the key sets.
-s start-time Specify the date and time when the generated SIG records become valid. This can be either an absolute or relative time. An absolute start time is indicated by a number in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS notation; 20000530144500 denotes 14:45:00 UTC on May 30th, 2000. A relative start time is indicated by +N, which is N seconds from the current time. If no start-time is specified, the current time is used.
-e end-time Specify the date and time when the generated SIG records expire. As with start-time, an absolute time is indicated in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS notation. A time relative to the start time is indicated with +N, which is N seconds from the start time. A time realtive to the current time is indicated with now+N. If no end-time is specified, 30 days from the start time is used as a default.
-h Prints a short summary of the options and arguments to dnssec-signkey.
-p Use pseudo-random data when signing the zone. This is faster, but less secure, than using real random data. This option may be useful when signing large zones or when the entropy source is limited.
-r randomdev Specifies the source of randomness. If the operating system does not provide a /dev/random or equivalent device, the default source of randomness is keyboard input. randomdev specifies the name of a character device or file containing random data to be used instead of the default. The special value keyboard indicates that keyboard input should be used.
-v level Sets the debugging level.


keyset The file containing the child's keyset.
key The keys used to sign the child's keyset.


The DNS administrator for a DNSSEC-aware .com zone would use the following command to sign the keyset file for example.com created by dnssec-makekeyset with a key generated by dnssec-keygen:

dnssec-signkey keyset-example.com. Kcom.+003+51944

In this example, dnssec-signkey creates the file signedkey-example.com., which contains the example.com keys and the signatures by the .com keys.

Related Information

The dnssec-keygen, dnssec-makekeyset, and dnssec-signzone commands.

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