An SSL server and client can be built with the (abstracted)
predicate calls from the table below. The
are provided by library(socket). The predicate ssl_context/3
defines properties of the SSL connection, while ssl_negotiate/5
establishes the SSL connection based on the wire streams created
by the TCP predicates and the context.
The library is abstracted to communication over streams, and is not
reliant on those streams being directly attached to sockets. The
calls here are simply the most common way to use the library. Other
two-way communication channels such as (named), pipes can just as
easily be used.
- See also
- - library(socket), library(http/http_open), library(crypto)
- ssl_context(+Role, -SSL, :Options) is det
- Create an SSL context. The context defines several properties
of the SSL connection such as involved keys, preferred
encryption, and passwords. After establishing a context, an SSL
connection can be negotiated using ssl_negotiate/5, turning two
arbitrary plain Prolog streams into encrypted streams. This
predicate processes the options below.
- For the client, the host to which it connects. This option
should be specified when Role is
certificate verification may fail when negotiating a
- Specify where the certificate file can be found. This can be the
same as the
key_file(+FileName) option. A server must have at
least one certificate before clients can connect. A client
must have a certificate only if the server demands the client
to identify itself with a client certificate using the
peer_cert(true) option. If a certificate is provided, it is
necessary to also provide a matching private key via the
key_file/1 option. To configure multiple certificates, use the
option certificate_key_pairs/1 instead. Alternatively, use
ssl_add_certificate_key/4 to add certificates and keys to an
- Specify where the private key that matches the certificate can
be found. If the key is encrypted with a password, this must
be supplied using the
- Alternative method for specifying certificates and keys. The
argument is a list of pairs of the form Certificate-Key,
where each component is a string or an atom that holds,
respectively, the PEM-encoded certificate and key. To each
certificate, further certificates of the chain can be
appended. Multiple types of certificates can be present at
the same time to enable different ciphers. Using multiple
certificate types with completely independent certificate
chains requires OpenSSL 1.0.2 or greater.
- Specify the password the private key is protected with (if
any). If you do not want to store the password you can also
specify an application defined handler to return the password
(see next option). Text is either an atom or string. Using
a string is preferred as strings are volatile and local
- In case a password is required to access the private key the
supplied predicate will be called to fetch it. The hook is
call(Goal, +SSL, -Password) and typically unifies
Password with a string containing the password.
- If true (default is false), then all certificates will be
considered invalid unless they can be verified as not being
revoked. You can do this explicity by passing a list of CRL
filenames via the crl/1 option, or by doing it yourself in
the cert_verify_hook. If you specify
provide neither of these options, verification will necessarily
- Provide a list of filenames of PEM-encoded CRLs that will be
given to the context to attempt to establish that a chain of
certificates is not revoked. You must also set
if you want CRLs to actually be checked by OpenSSL.
- Deprecated. Use cacerts/1 instead.
Specify a file containing certificate keys of trusted
certificates. The peer is trusted if its certificate is
signed (ultimately) by one of the provided certificates. Using
system(root_certificates) uses a list of
trusted root certificates as provided by the OS. See
system_root_certificates/1 for details.
- Specify a list of sources of trusted certificates.
Each element in the list should be one of the following:
file(Filename): A file containing one or more PEM-encoded
certificate(Blob): A certificate blob
system(root_certificates): A special term which refers to
the certificates trusted by the host OS.
Additional verification of the peer certificate as well as
accepting certificates that are not trusted by the given set
can be realised using the hook
- The predicate ssl_negotiate/5 calls Goal as follows:
+ProblemCertificate, +AllCertificates, +FirstCertificate,
In case the certificate was verified by one of the provided
certifications from the
cacert_file option, Error is unified
with the atom
verified. Otherwise it contains the error
string passed from OpenSSL. Access will be granted iff the
predicate succeeds. See load_certificate/2 for a description
of the certificate terms. See cert_accept_any/5 for a dummy
implementation that accepts any certificate.
- Specify a cipher preference list (one or more cipher strings
separated by colons, commas or spaces). See ssl_secure_ciphers/1.
- Specify a curve for ECDHE ciphers. If this option is not
specified, the OpenSSL default parameters are used. With
OpenSSL prior to 1.1.0,
prime256v1 is used by default.
- Trigger the request of our peer's certificate while
establishing the SSL layer. This option is automatically
turned on in a client SSL socket. It can be used in a server
to ask the client to identify itself using an SSL certificate.
true, close the raw streams if the SSL streams are closed.
true (default is
false), the server sends TLS
close_notify when closing the connection. In addition,
this mitigates truncation attacks for both client and
server role: If EOF is encountered without having received a
TLS shutdown, an exception is raised. Well-designed
protocols are self-terminating, and this attack is therefore
very rarely a concern.
- Set the minimum protocol version that can be negotiated.
Atom is one of
tlsv1_3. This option is available with OpenSSL 1.1.0 and
later, and should be used instead of
- Set the maximum protocol version that can be negotiated.
Atom is one of
tlsv1_3. This option is available with OpenSSL 1.1.0 and
later, and should be used instead of
- A list of methods to disable. Unsupported methods will be
ignored. Methods include
tlsv1_2. This option is deprecated
starting with OpenSSL 1.1.0. Use min_protocol_version/1 and
- Specify the explicit Method to use when negotiating. For
allowed values, see the list for
Using this option is discouraged. When using OpenSSL 1.1.0
or later, this option is ignored, and a version-flexible method
is used to negotiate the connection. Using version-specific
methods is deprecated in recent OpenSSL versions, and this
option will become obsolete and ignored in the future.
- This option provides Server Name Indication (SNI) for SSL
servers. This means that depending on the host to which a
client connects, different options (certificates etc.) can
be used for the server. This TLS extension allows you to host
different domains using the same IP address and physical
machine. When a TLS connection is negotiated with a client
that has provided a host name via SNI, the hook is called as
call(Goal, +SSL0, +HostName, -SSL)
Given the current context SSL0, and the host name of the
client request, the predicate computes SSL which is used as
the context for negotiating the connection. The first solution
is used. If the predicate fails, the default options are
used, which are those of the encompassing ssl_context/3
call. In that case, if no default certificate and key are
specified, the client connection is rejected.
- Provide a list of acceptable ALPN protocol identifiers as atoms.
ALPN support requires OpenSSL 1.0.2 or greater.
- This options provides a callback for a server context to use to
select an ALPN protocol. It will be called as follows:
call(Goal, +SSLCtx0, +ListOfClientProtocols, -SSLCtx1, -SelectedProtocol)
If this option is unset and the
alpn_protocols/1 option is
set, then the first common protocol between client & server will
|Role||- is one of |
client and denotes whether the
SSL instance will have a server or client role in the
|SSL||- is a SWI-Prolog blob of type |
ssl_context, i.e., the
type-test for an SSL context is
- ssl_upgrade_legacy_options(+OptionsIn, -Options) is det
- Handle deprecated
cacert_file(Spec) option and map it to the new
- ssl_add_certificate_key(+SSL0, +Certificate, +Key, -SSL)
- Add an additional certificate/key pair to SSL0, yielding SSL.
Certificate and Key are either strings or atoms that hold the
PEM-encoded certificate plus certificate chain and private key,
respectively. Using strings is preferred for security reasons.
This predicate allows dual-stack RSA and ECDSA servers (for
example), and is an alternative for using the
certificate_key_pairs/1 option. As of OpenSSL 1.0.2, multiple
certificate types with completely independent certificate chains
are supported. If a certificate of the same type is added
repeatedly to a context, the result is undefined. Currently, up to
12 additional certificates of different types are admissible.
- ssl_set_options(+SSL0, -SSL, +Options)
- SSL is the same as SSL0, except for the options specified in
Options. The following options are supported: close_notify/1,
close_parent/1, host/1, peer_cert/1, ecdh_curve/1,
disable_ssl_methods/1, sni_hook/1, cert_verify_hook/1,
alpn_protocols/1, and alpn_protocol_hook/1. See ssl_context/3 for
more information about these options. This predicate allows you to
tweak existing SSL contexts, which can be useful in hooks when
creating servers with the HTTP infrastructure.
- ssl_property(+SSL, ?Property) is semidet
- True when Property is a property of SSL. Defined properties are:
- To be done
- - This version is a very minimal implementation of the generic
property interface. Future versions will add more properties and
- ssl_negotiate(+SSL, +PlainRead, +PlainWrite, -SSLRead, -SSLWrite) is det
- Once a connection is established and a read/write stream pair is
available, (PlainRead and PlainWrite), this predicate can be
called to negotiate an SSL session over the streams. If the
negotiation is successful, SSLRead and SSLWrite are returned.
After a successful handshake and finishing the communication the
user must close SSLRead and SSLWrite, for example using
call_cleanup(close(SSLWrite), close(SSLRead)). If the SSL
context (created with ssl_context/3 has the option
false), closing SSLRead and
SSLWrite also closes the original PlainRead and PlainWrite
streams. Otherwise these must be closed explicitly by the user.
ssl_error(Code, LibName, FuncName, Reason) is raised
if the negotiation fails. The streams PlainRead and PlainWrite
are not closed, but an unknown amount of data may have been
read and written.
- ssl_peer_certificate(+Stream, -Certificate) is semidet
- True if the peer certificate is provided (this is always the
case for a client connection) and Certificate unifies with the
peer certificate. The example below uses this to obtain the
Common Name of the peer after establishing an https client
http_open(HTTPS_url, In, ),
memberchk('CN' = CommonName), Subject)
- ssl_peer_certificate_chain(+Stream, -Certificates) is det
- Certificates is the certificate chain provided by the peer,
represented as a list of certificates.
- ssl_session(+Stream, -Session) is det
- Retrieves (debugging) properties from the SSL context associated
with Stream. If Stream is not an SSL stream, the predicate
raises a domain error. Session is a list of properties,
containing the members described below. Except for Version,
all information are byte arrays that are represented as Prolog
strings holding characters in the range 0..255.
- The negotiated version of the session as an integer.
- The negotiated cipher for this connection.
- The key material used in SSLv2 connections (if present).
- The key material comprising the master secret. This is
generated from the server_random, client_random and pre-master
- The random data selected by the client during handshaking.
- The random data selected by the server during handshaking.
- The SSLv3 session ID. Note that if ECDHE is being used (which
is the default for newer versions of OpenSSL), this data will
not actually be sent to the server.
- The negotiated ALPN protocol, if supported. If no protocol was
negotiated, this will be an empty string.
- load_certificate(+Stream, -Certificate) is det
- Loads a certificate from a PEM- or DER-encoded stream, returning
a certificate. The fields of the certificate can be inspected
Note that the OpenSSL
CA.pl utility creates certificates that
have a human readable textual representation in front of the PEM
representation. You can use the following to skip to the
certificate if you know it is a PEM certificate:
( peek_char(In, '-')
; skip(In, 0'\n),
- write_certificate(+Stream, +Certificate, +Options) is det
- Writes a certificate to the stream Stream. Options is reserved
for future use.
- load_crl(+Stream, -CRL) is det
- Loads a CRL from a PEM- or DER-encoded stream, returning a term
containing terms hash/1, signature/1, issuer_name/1 and
revocations/1, which is a list of revoked/2 terms. Each
revoked/2 term is of the form
- system_root_certificates(-List) is det
- List is a list of trusted root certificates as provided by the
OS. This is the list used by ssl_context/3 when using the option
system(root_certificates). The list is obtained using an OS
specific process. The current implementation is as follows:
- load_private_key(+Stream, +Password, -PrivateKey) is det
- Load a private key PrivateKey from the given stream Stream,
using Password to decrypt the key if it is encrypted. Note that
the password is currently only supported for PEM files.
DER-encoded keys which are password protected will not load. The
key must be an RSA or EC key. DH and DSA keys are not supported,
and PrivateKey will be bound to an atom (dh_key or dsa_key) if
you try and load such a key. Otherwise PrivateKey will be
private_key(KeyTerm) where KeyTerm is an rsa/8 term
representing an RSA key, or ec/3 for EC keys.
- load_public_key(+Stream, -PublicKey) is det
- Load a public key PublicKey from the given stream Stream.
Supports loading both DER- and PEM-encoded keys. The key must be
an RSA or EC key. DH and DSA keys are not supported, and
PublicKey will be bound to an atom (dh_key or dsa_key) if you
try and load such a key. Otherwise PublicKey will be unified
public_key(KeyTerm) where KeyTerm is an rsa/8 term
representing an RSA key, or ec/3 for EC keys.
- cert_accept_any(+SSL, +ProblemCertificate, +AllCertificates, +FirstCertificate, +Error) is det
- Implementation for the hook `cert_verify_hook(:Hook)` that
accepts any certificate. This is intended for http_open/3 if
no certificate verification is desired as illustrated below.
- same_certificate(+CertificateA, +CertificateB)
- True if CertificateA is logically the same as CertificateB, even if
they are stored in different blobs
- verify_certificate_issuer(+Certificate, +Issuer)
- True if Certificate is a certificate which was issued by the
- verify_certificate(+Certificate, +AuxiliaryCertificates, +TrustedCertificates)
- True if it is possible to build a chain of trust from Certificate to
one of the certificates in TrustedCertificates, optionally using the
(untrusted) certificates in AuxiliaryCertificates to complete the
To use the system built-in trust store, specify the special term
system(root_certificates) for TrustedCertificates.
- certificate_field(+Certificate, ?Field) is nondet
- Retrieve the field matching Field from Certificate. May be
one of the following:
- subject/1 to retrieve the subject
- issuer/1 to retrieve the issuer's subject
- version/1 to retrieve the version
- serial/1 to retrieve the serial number
- not_before/1 to retrieve the start date
- not_after/1 to retrieve the expiry date
- public_key/1 to retrieve the public key
- crls/1 to retrieve a list of the CRLs
- sans/1 to retrieve a list of the Subject Alternative Names
- signature/1 to retrieve the certificate signature
- signature_algorithm/1 to retrieve the signing algorithm
- hash/1 to retrieve the certificate hash
- to_be_signed/1 to retrieve the data on the certificate which
must be signed
- ssl_secure_ciphers(-Ciphers:atom) is det
- Ciphers is a secure cipher preference list that can be used in the
cipher_list/1 option of ssl_context/3.
Secure ciphers must guarantee forward secrecy, and must mitigate all
known critical attacks. As of 2018, using these ciphers allows you
to obtain grade A on https://www.ssllabs.com. For A+, you must also
enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) by sending a suitable
header field in replies.
Note that obsolete ciphers must be disabled to reliably prevent
protocol downgrade attacks.
The Ciphers list is read from the setting
can be controlled using set_setting/2 and other predicates from
BEWARE: This list must be changed when attacks on these ciphers
become known! Keep an eye on this setting and adapt it
as necessary in the future.