How Can I Get My Certificates in PEM Format?

How Can I Download a PEM file from SSL.com?

The simple answer is that the files retrieved from the download table for a certificate in your SSL.com customer account will be in PEM format when you receive them:

All of these “download” links will provide PEM files

What Is a PEM File?

“PEM” (originally an acronym for “Privacy Enhanced Mail”) is a very common container format for digital certificates and keys that is used by Apache and other web server platforms. A PEM file for an X.509 certificate is simply a text file that includes a Base64 encoding of the certificate text and a plain-text header and footer marking the beginning and end of the certificate:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIGbzCCBFegAwIBAgIICZftEJ0fB/wwDQYJKoZIhvcNAQELBQAwfDELMAkGA1UE
BhMCVVMxDjAMBgNVBAgMBVRleGFzMRAwDgYDVQQHDAdIb3VzdG9uMRgwFgYDVQQK
DA9TU0wgQ29ycG9yYXRpb24xMTAvBgNVBAMMKFNTTC5jb20gUm9vdCBDZXJ0aWZp
...
Nztr2Isaaz4LpMEo4mGCiGxec5mKr1w8AE9n6D91CvxR5/zL1VU1JCVC7sAtkdki
vnN1/6jEKFJvlUr5/FX04JXeomIjXTI8ciruZ6HIkbtJup1n9Zxvmr9JQcFTsP2c
bRbjaT7JD6MBidAWRCJWClR/5etTZwWwWrRCrzvIHC7WO6rCzwu69a+l7ofCKlWs
y702dmPTKEdEfwhgLx0LxJr/Aw==
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
Note: PEM certificate files downloaded from SSL.com will have the filename extension .crt, but you may also encounter them with the extensions .pem or .cer. Re-naming the file and/or changing its extension will not affect its functionality.

 

The PEM format is also used to store private keys and certificate signing requests (CSRs):

A PEM-formatted private key will have the extension .key and the header and footer
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY----- and -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----.

 

A PEM-formatted CSR will have the extension .csr and the header and footer
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- and -----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----.

If you have questions about certificate file formats or anything else related to digital certificates and PKI, don’t hesitate to contact us at Support@SSL.com, call 1-877-SSL-SECURE,  or just use the chat link at the bottom right of this page. And, as always, thank you for choosing SSL.com!