++ed by:
2 non-PAUSE users
Author image A. Sinan Ünür
and 3 contributors


Crypt::SSLeay - OpenSSL support for LWP


    lwp-request https://www.example.com

    use LWP::UserAgent;
    my $ua  = LWP::UserAgent->new;
    my $response = $ua->get('https://www.example.com/');
    print $response->content, "\n";


This Perl module provides support for the HTTPS protocol under LWP, to allow an LWP::UserAgent object to perform GET, HEAD and POST requests. Please see LWP for more information on POST requests.

The Crypt::SSLeay package provides Net::SSL, which is loaded by LWP::Protocol::https for https requests and provides the necessary SSL glue.

This distribution also makes following deprecated modules available:


Work on Crypt::SSLeay has been continued only to provide https support for the LWP (libwww-perl) libraries.


The following environment variables change the way Crypt::SSLeay and Net::SSL behave.

Proxy Support

    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY} = 'http://proxy_hostname_or_ip:port';

Proxy Basic Authentication

    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY_USERNAME} = 'username';
    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY_PASSWORD} = 'password';

SSL diagnostics and Debugging

    $ENV{HTTPS_DEBUG} = 1;

Default SSL Version

    $ENV{HTTPS_VERSION} = '3';

Client Certificate Support

    $ENV{HTTPS_CERT_FILE} = 'certs/notacacert.pem';
    $ENV{HTTPS_KEY_FILE}  = 'certs/notacakeynopass.pem';

CA cert Peer Verification

    $ENV{HTTPS_CA_FILE}   = 'certs/ca-bundle.crt';
    $ENV{HTTPS_CA_DIR}    = 'certs/';

Client PKCS12 cert support

    $ENV{HTTPS_PKCS12_FILE}     = 'certs/pkcs12.pkcs12';



You must have OpenSSL installed before compiling this module. You can get the latest OpenSSL package from http://www.openssl.org/. We no longer support pre-2000 versions of OpenSSL.

If you are building OpenSSL from source, please follow the directions included in the package.

If you are going to use an OpenSSL library which you built from source or whose header and library files are not in a place searched by your compiler by default, make sure you set appropriate environment variables before trying to build Crypt::SSLeay.

For example, if you are using ActiveState Perl and MinGW installed using ppm, and you installed OpenSSL in C:\opt\openssl-1.0.1c, then you would issue the following commands to build Crypt::SSLeay:

    C:\...\> set LIBRARY_PATH=C:\opt\openssl-1.0.1c\lib;%LIBRARY_PATH%
    C:\...\> set CPATH=C:\opt\openssl-1.0.1c\include;%CPATH%
    C:\...\> perl Makefile.PL --live-tests
    C:\...\> dmake test

On Linux/BSD/Solaris/GNU etc systems, you would use make rather than dmake, but you would need to set the same variables if your OpenSSL library is in a custom location. If everything builds OK, but you get failures when during tests, ensure that LD_LIBRARY_PATH points to the location where the correct shared libraries are located.

If you are using a Microsoft compiler (keep in mind that perl and OpenSSL need to have been built using the same compiler as well), you would use:

    C:\...\> set LIB=C:\opt\openssl-1.0.1c\lib;%LIB%
    C:\...\> set INCLUDE=C:\opt\openssl-1.0.1c\include;%INCLUDE%
    C:\...\> perl Makefile.PL --live-tests
    C:\...\> nmake test

Depending on your OS, pre-built OpenSSL packages may be available. You may need to install a development version of your operating system's OpenSSL library package. The key is that Crypt::SSLeay makes calls to the OpenSSL library, and how to do so is specified in the C header files that come with the library. Some systems break out the header files into a separate package from that of the libraries. Once the program has been built, you don't need the headers any more.


The latest Crypt::SSLeay can be found at your nearest CPAN, as well as http://search.cpan.org/dist/Crypt-SSLeay/.

Once you have downloaded it, Crypt::SSLeay installs easily using the standard build process:

    perl Makefile.PL
    make test
    make install

On Windows systems, both Strawberry Perl and ActiveState (as a separate download via ppm) projects include a MingW based compiler distribution and dmake which can be used to build both OpenSSL and Crypt::SSLeay. If you have such a set up, use dmake above.

Makefile.PL takes two optional arguments:


Boolean. Specifies whether we should try to connect to an HTTPS URL during testing. Default is false.

To skip live tests, you can use

    perl Makefile.PL --no-live-tests

and to force live tests, you can use

    perl Makefile.PL --live-tests

Boolean. Default is false. (TODO: Does it work?)

For unattended (batch) installations, to be absolutely certain that Makefile.PL does not prompt for questions on STDIN, set the environment variable PERL_MM_USE_DEFAULT=1 as with any CPAN module built using ExtUtils::MakeMaker.


Crypt::SSLeay builds correctly with Strawberry Perl and ActiveState Perl using the bundled MinGW.

For ActiveState Perl users, the ActiveState company does not have a permit from the Canadian Federal Government to distribute cryptographic software. This prevents Crypt::SSLeay from being distributed as a PPM package from their repository.

See http://docs.activestate.com/activeperl/5.16/faq/ActivePerl-faq2.html#crypto_packages for more information on this issue. You may be able to download a PPM for Crypt::SSLeay from an alternative repository (see PPM::Repositories).


I do not have any experience with VMS. If OpenSSL headers and libraries are not in standard locations searched by your build system by default, please set things up so that they are. If you have generic instructions on how to do it, please open a ticket on RT with the information so I can add it to this document.


LWP::UserAgent and Crypt::SSLeay have their own versions of proxy support. Please read these sections to see which one is appropriate.

LWP::UserAgent proxy support

LWP::UserAgent has its own methods of proxying which may work for you and is likely to be incompatible with Crypt::SSLeay proxy support. To use LWP::UserAgent proxy support, try something like:

    my $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new;
    $ua->proxy([qw( https http )], "$proxy_ip:$proxy_port");

At the time of this writing, libwww v5.6 seems to proxy https requests fine with an Apache mod_proxy server. It sends a line like:

    GET https://www.example.com HTTP/1.1

to the proxy server, which is not the CONNECT request that some proxies would expect, so this may not work with other proxy servers than mod_proxy. The CONNECT method is used by Crypt::SSLeay's internal proxy support.

Crypt::SSLeay proxy support

For native Crypt::SSLeay proxy support of https requests, you need to set the environment variable HTTPS_PROXY to your proxy server and port, as in:

    # proxy support
    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY} = 'http://proxy_hostname_or_ip:port';
    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY} = '';

Use of the HTTPS_PROXY environment variable in this way is similar to LWP::UserAgent-env_proxy()> usage, but calling that method will likely override or break the Crypt::SSLeay support, so do not mix the two.

Basic auth credentials to the proxy server can be provided this way:

    # proxy_basic_auth
    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY_USERNAME} = 'username';
    $ENV{HTTPS_PROXY_PASSWORD} = 'password';

For an example of LWP scripting with Crypt::SSLeay native proxy support, please look at the eg/lwp-ssl-test script in the Crypt::SSLeay distribution.


Client certificates are supported. PEM encoded certificate and private key files may be used like this:

    $ENV{HTTPS_CERT_FILE} = 'certs/notacacert.pem';
    $ENV{HTTPS_KEY_FILE}  = 'certs/notacakeynopass.pem';

You may test your files with the eg/net-ssl-test program, bundled with the distribution, by issuing a command like:

    perl eg/net-ssl-test -cert=certs/notacacert.pem \
        -key=certs/notacakeynopass.pem -d GET $HOST_NAME

Additionally, if you would like to tell the client where the CA file is, you may set these.

    $ENV{HTTPS_CA_FILE} = "some_file";
    $ENV{HTTPS_CA_DIR}  = "some_dir";

Note that, if specified, $ENV{HTTPS_CA_FILE} must point to the actual certificate file. That is, $ENV{HTTPS_CA_DIR} is *not* the path were $ENV{HTTPS_CA_FILE} is located.

For certificates in $ENV{HTTPS_CA_DIR} to be picked up, follow the instructions on http://www.openssl.org/docs/ssl/SSL_CTX_load_verify_locations.html

There is no sample CA cert file at this time for testing, but you may configure eg/net-ssl-test to use your CA cert with the -CAfile option.

(TODO: then what is the ./certs directory in the distribution?)

Creating a test certificate

To create simple test certificates with OpenSSL, you may run the following command:

    openssl req -config /usr/local/openssl/openssl.cnf \
        -new -days 365 -newkey rsa:1024 -x509 \
        -keyout notacakey.pem -out notacacert.pem

To remove the pass phrase from the key file, run:

    openssl rsa -in notacakey.pem -out notacakeynopass.pem

PKCS12 support

The directives for enabling use of PKCS12 certificates is:

    $ENV{HTTPS_PKCS12_FILE}     = 'certs/pkcs12.pkcs12';

Use of this type of certificate takes precedence over previous certificate settings described.

(TODO: unclear? Meaning "the presence of this type of certificate"?)

SSL versions

Crypt::SSLeay tries very hard to connect to any SSL web server accomodating servers that are buggy, old or simply not standards-compliant. To this effect, this module will try SSL connections in this order:

SSL v23

should allow v2 and v3 servers to pick their best type

SSL v3

best connection type

SSL v2

old connection type

Unfortunately, some servers seem not to handle a reconnect to SSL v3 after a failed connect of SSL v23 is tried, so you may set before using LWP or Net::SSL:


to force a version 3 SSL connection first. At this time only a version 2 SSL connection will be tried after this, as the connection attempt order remains unchanged by this setting.


Many thanks to the following individuals who helped improve Crypt-SSLeay:

Gisle Aas for writing this module and many others including libwww, for perl. The web will never be the same :)

Ben Laurie deserves kudos for his excellent patches for better error handling, SSL information inspection, and random seeding.

Dongqiang Bai for host name resolution fix when using a proxy.

Stuart Horner of Core Communications, Inc. who found the need for building --shared OpenSSL libraries.

Pavel Hlavnicka for a patch for freeing memory when using a pkcs12 file, and for inspiring more robust read() behavior.

James Woodyatt is a champ for finding a ridiculous memory leak that has been the bane of many a Crypt::SSLeay user.

Bryan Hart for his patch adding proxy support, and thanks to Tobias Manthey for submitting another approach.

Alex Rhomberg for Alpha linux ccc patch.

Tobias Manthey for his patches for client certificate support.

Daisuke Kuroda for adding PKCS12 certificate support.

Gamid Isayev for CA cert support and insights into error messaging.

Jeff Long for working through a tricky CA cert SSLClientVerify issue.

Chip Turner for a patch to build under perl 5.8.0.

Joshua Chamas for the time he spent maintaining the module.

Jeff Lavallee for help with alarms on read failures (CPAN bug #12444).

Guenter Knauf for significant improvements in configuring things in Win32 and Netware lands and Jan Dubois for various suggestions for improvements.

and many others who provided bug reports, suggestions, fixes and patches.



If you have downloaded this distribution as of a dependency of another distribution, it's probably due to this module (which is included in this distribution).


Net::SSLeay provides access to the OpenSSL API directly from Perl. See http://search.cpan.org/dist/Net-SSLeay/.

OpenSSL binary packages for Windows

See http://www.openssl.org/related/binaries.html.


For use of Crypt::SSLeay & Net::SSL with Perl's LWP, please send email to libwww@perl.org.

For OpenSSL or general SSL support, including issues associated with building and installing OpenSSL on your system, please email the OpenSSL users mailing list at openssl-users@openssl.org. See http://www.openssl.org/support/community.html for other mailing lists and archives.

Please report all bugs using rt.cpan.org.


This module was originally written by Gisle Aas, and was subsequently maintained by Joshua Chamas, David Landgren, brian d foy and Sinan Unur.


Copyright (c) 2010-2012 A. Sinan Unur

Copyright (c) 2006-2007 David Landgren

Copyright (c) 1999-2003 Joshua Chamas

Copyright (c) 1998 Gisle Aas


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of Artistic License 2.0 (see http://www.perlfoundation.org/artistic_license_2_0).