🟢Certificate Formats

Explore the vital ins and outs of various Certificate Formats in our comprehensive guide. Enhance knowledge on certificate types, significance and how to optimize them for use.

Certificate Formats Explained


PEM (Privacy Enhanced Mail) is the most common format for X.509 certificates, RSA keys, and other types of data. It consists of Base64 encoded data between "BEGIN" and "END" lines.

PEM format is suitable for text-based applications like email.

DER - Binary format, equal to PEM but in binary

DER (Distinguished Encoding Rules) is a binary form of PEM. It contains the same information as PEM but without the Base64 encoding, making it not human-readable.

DER is commonly used in environments that require a more compact format.

PFX/P12 (PKCS#12)

PFX or P12 files are binary files that contain a certificate and its private key, sometimes with additional certificates forming a complete chain. They are protected with a password to secure the contained information.

PFX/P12 is widely used for transporting and storing secured keys and certificates.

P7B (PKCS#7)

P7B files are used to share public certificates, including the certificate chain, in a single file. They do not contain private keys.

P7B files are typically used in scenarios where certificate trusts must be established, such as adding trusted root certificates to a system.

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