Basic pkcs12 Management with security

Recently, I did an article for afp548.com where I explained that you can import a pkcs12 file into an 802.1x profile using networksetup. In that type of environment you would be leveraging TLS or TTLS with the Mac OS X client acting as the supplicant and the certificate required to establish authentication with the authenticator. So you need the certificate to get started, but how do you get the pkcs12 and dish it out to clients programatically?

We’re going to start out with a new keychain where we’ve imported the certificate into that keychain (or skip this step if you already have a p12 file). First, find the certificate and verify the name, as this is very important to networksetup. For this, I like to use the security command’s find-certificate option. Here we’re going to look for radius.krypted.com:

security find-certificate -c radius.krypted.com

Now we’ll use the export verb of the security command to dump a .p12 file from the specially created keychain called 8021xkey,keychain to my desktop:

security export -k 8021xkey.keychain -t certs -f pkcs12 -o ~/Desktop/krypted.p12

When run you’ll be asked for a password to give the new p12 for decryption. Once we have the keychain it can easily be imported, as we will do from the desktop of a client system:

security import ~/Desktop/krypted.p12 -f pkcs12

Now we can use the p12 along with the -settlsidentityonsystemprofile or -settlsidentityonuserprofile. For example (using the default AirPort as the service and mysecretpassword as the password to decrypt the p12):

networksetup -settlsidentityonsystemprofile AirPort ~/Desktop/krypted.p12 mysecretpassword

Overall, at this point you can finally automate the process of setting up the 802.1x aspect of a deployment using a script or a package. Simply setup profiles at the GUI, import them into the new computer (assuming you have setup the service names before hand) and if need be import the certificate. Much testing required though…

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