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I am using Windows and have been given a .cer file. How can I view the details of it?

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up vote 65 down vote accepted

OpenSSL will allow you to look at it if it is installed on your system.

openssl x509 -in cerfile.cer -noout -text

The format of the .CER file might require that you specify a different encoding format to be explicitly called out.

openssl x509 -inform pem -in cerfile.cer -noout -text


openssl x509 -inform der -in cerfile.cer -noout -text

On Windows systems you can right click the .cer file and select Open. That will then let you view most of the meta data.

On Windows you run Windows certificate manager program using certmgr.msc command in the run window. Then you can import your certificates and view details.

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I get "4726:error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line:pem_lib.c:632:Expecting: TRUSTED CERTIFICATE" when I do this in Linux – Zubair Dec 23 '10 at 9:51
What you mentioned about Windows works though, but is very hard to read the certificate details in the little window that is displayed – Zubair Dec 23 '10 at 9:54
I've added some clarifications on some OpenSSL options to specify different encoding formats - given your error specifying DER format looks like it would work. – Helvick Dec 23 '10 at 10:31
Thanks, "openssl x509 -inform der -in cerfile.cer -noout -text" worked! – Zubair Dec 23 '10 at 12:25
Linux gui version: gcr-viewer. – user3622355 Aug 14 '14 at 4:11

If you're using Windows, you can use console util

certutil -dump <file>
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Where is that "certutil" from? The one from nss-utils on my systems doesn't have a "-dump" option. – freiheit Jun 10 '15 at 16:57
It's system util. I have Windows 7.… – lunicon Jun 10 '15 at 18:53

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