Section: General Commands Manual (1)
Updated: SEPTEMBER 2017
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tpm2_sign(1) - Sign a hash using the TPM.  


tpm2_sign [OPTIONS]  


tpm2_sign(1) signs an externally provided hash with the specified symmetric or asymmetric signing key. If keyHandle references a restricted signing key, then validation shall be provided, indicating that the TPM performed the hash of the data and validation shall indicate that hashed data did not start with TPM_GENERATED_VALUE. The scheme of keyHandle should not be TPM_ALG_NULL.  


-k, -key-handle=KEY_HANDLE:

Handle of key that will perform signing.

-c, -key-context=KEY_CONTEXT_FILE:

Filename of the key context used for the operation.


Specifies the password of KEY_HANDLE. Passwords should follow the password formatting standards, see section "Password Formatting".


The hash algorithm used to digest the message. Algorithms should follow the "formatting standards, see section"Algorithm Specifiers". Also, see section"Supported Hash Algorithms" for a list of supported hash algorithms.

-m, -msg=MSG_FILE:

The message file, containing the content to be digested.

-t, -ticket=TICKET_FILE:

The ticket file, containning the validation structure, optional.

-s, -sig=TICKET_FILE:

The signature file, records the signature structure.

-f, -format

Format selection for the signature output file. See section "Signature Format Specifiers".

-S, -input-session-handle=SESSION_HANDLE:

Optional Input session handle from a policy session for authorization.



This collection of options are common to many programs and provide information that many users may expect.

-h, -help: Display the tools manpage. This requires the manpages to be installed or on MANPATH, See man(1) for more details.
-v, -version: Display version information for this tool, supported tctis and exit.
-V, -verbose: Increase the information that the tool prints to the console during its execution. When using this option the file and line number are printed.
-Q, -quiet: Silence normal tool output to stdout.
-Z, -enable-errata: Enable the application of errata fixups. Useful if an errata fixup needs to be applied to commands sent to the TPM. # TCTI ENVIRONMENT

This collection of environment variables that may be used to configure the various TCTI modules available.

The values passed through these variables can be overridden on a per-command basis using the available command line options, see the TCTI_OPTIONS section.

The variables respected depend on how the software was configured.

TPM2TOOLS_TCTI_NAME: Select the TCTI used for communication with the next component down the TSS stack. In most configurations this will be the TPM but it could be a simulator or proxy. The current known TCTIs are:
tabrmd - The new resource manager, called tabrmd (
socket - Typically used with the old resource manager, or talking directly to a simulator.
device - Used when talking directly to a TPM device file.
TPM2TOOLS_DEVICE_FILE: When using the device TCTI, specify the TPM device file. The default is "/dev/tpm0".

Note: Using the tpm directly requires the users to ensure that concurrent access does not occur and that they manage the tpm resources. These tasks are usually managed by a resource manager. Linux 4.12 and greater supports an in kernel resource manager at "/dev/tpmrm", typically "/dev/tpmrm0".

TPM2TOOLS_SOCKET_ADDRESS: When using the socket TCTI, specify the domain name or IP address used. The default is
TPM2TOOLS_SOCKET_PORT: When using the socket TCTI, specify the port number used. The default is 2321.


This collection of options are used to configure the varous TCTI modules available. They override any environment variables.

-T, -tcti=TCTI_NAME[:TCTI_OPTIONS]: Select the TCTI used for communication with the next component down the TSS stack. In most configurations this will be the resource manager: tabrmd ( Optionally, tcti specific options can appended to TCTI_NAME by appending a : to TCTI_NAME.
For the device TCTI, the TPM device file for use by the device TCTI can be specified. The default is /dev/tpm0. Example: -T device:/dev/tpm0
For the socket TCTI, the domain name or IP address and port number used by the socket can be specified. The default are and 2321. Example: -T socket:
For the abrmd TCTI, it takes no options. Example: -T abrmd

Password Formatting

Passwords are interpreted in two forms, string and hex-string. A string password is not interpreted, and is directly used for authorization. A hex-string, is converted from a hexidecimal form into a byte array form, thus allowing passwords with non-printable and/or terminal un-friendly characters.

By default passwords are assumed to be in the string form. Password form is specified with special prefix values, they are:

str: - Used to indicate it is a raw string. Useful for escaping a password that starts with the "hex:" prefix.
hex: - Used when specifying a password in hex string format.

Supported Hash Algorithms

Supported hash algorithms are:

0x4 or sha1 for TPM_ALG_SHA1 (default)
0xB or sha256 for TPM_ALG_SHA256
0xC or sha384 for TPM_ALG_SHA384
0xD or sha512 for TPM_ALG_SHA512
0x12 or sm3_256 for TPM_ALG_SM3_256

NOTE: Your TPM may not support all algorithms.  

Algorithm Specfiers

Options that take algorithms support "nice-names". Nice names, like sha1 can be used in place of the raw hex for sha1: 0x4. The nice names are converted by stripping the leading TPM_ALG_ from the Algorithm Name field and converting it to lower case. For instance TPM_ALG_SHA3_256 becomes sha3_256.

The algorithms can be found at: <>  

Signature Format Specifiers

Format selection for the signature output file. tss (the default) will output a binary blob according to the TPM 2.0 specification and any potential compiler padding. The option plain will output the plain signature data as defined by the used cryptographic algorithm. # EXAMPLES

tpm2_sign -k 0x81010001 -P abc123 -g sha256 -m <filePath> -s <filePath> -t <filePath>
tpm2_sign -c key.context -P abc123 -g sha256 -m <filePath> -s <filePath> -t <filePath>



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Password Formatting
Supported Hash Algorithms
Algorithm Specfiers
Signature Format Specifiers