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The tutorial I'm following to create and sign certificates bounces between creating .key and .key.pem files with the -keyout option.

For example: master-ca.key.pem and openvpn-ica.key and again vpn-server.key.pem.

Does it matter and is there a standard?

marked as duplicate by Community Dec 4 '16 at 22:24

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This question has already been answered before. See this post for a great explanation: What is a Pem file and how does it differ from other OpenSSL Generated Key File Formats?

  • Thank you, I saw that. A .pem is a just container and it says it doesn't really matter. But as far as readability and best practices go, which way is it more typically created? – SmokeyTehBear Dec 4 '16 at 22:18
  • As stated in this post, *.key is typically used for the private key, *.pem for the certificate (chain). – dim-0 Dec 4 '16 at 22:20

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