What are PEM files?

Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM) files are a type of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) file used for keys and certificates. PEM, initially invented to make e-mail secure, is now an Internet security standard. HPE Service Manager uses OpenSSL libraries to encrypt and decrypt SOAP messages over HTTP and requires certificates and keys in PEM format. The typical PEM files are:

  • key.pem contains the private encryption key
  • cert.pem contains certificate information

Because it is a standard, any PKI implementation can use .pem files as a repository for keys or certificates. OpenSSL supports a variety of standard formats in addition to .pem, including Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) and X.509. OpenSSL has several utility functions that can convert these formats.