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MODULI

Section: File Formats (5)
Index Return to Main Contents

BSD mandoc
 

NAME

moduli - Diffie-Hellman moduli  

DESCRIPTION

The /etc/ssh/moduli file contains prime numbers and generators for use by sshd(8) in the Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange key exchange method.

New moduli may be generated with ssh-keygen1 using a two-step process. An initial candidate generation pass, using ssh-keygen -G calculates numbers that are likely to be useful. A second primality testing pass, using ssh-keygen -T provides a high degree of assurance that the numbers are prime and are safe for use in Diffie-Hellman operations by sshd(8). This format is used as the output from each pass.

The file consists of newline-separated records, one per modulus, containing seven space-separated fields. These fields are as follows:

timestamp
The time that the modulus was last processed as YYYYMMDDHHMMSS.
type
Decimal number specifying the internal structure of the prime modulus. Supported types are:

0
Unknown, not tested.
2
"Safe" prime; (p-1)/2 is also prime.
4
Sophie Germain; 2p+1 is also prime.

Moduli candidates initially produced by ssh-keygen1 are Sophie Germain primes (type 4). Further primality testing with ssh-keygen1 produces safe prime moduli (type 2) that are ready for use in sshd(8). Other types are not used by OpenSSH.

tests
Decimal number indicating the type of primality tests that the number has been subjected to represented as a bitmask of the following values:

0x00
Not tested.
0x01
Composite number - not prime.
0x02
Sieve of Eratosthenes.
0x04
Probabilistic Miller-Rabin primality tests.

The ssh-keygen1 moduli candidate generation uses the Sieve of Eratosthenes (flag 0x02). Subsequent ssh-keygen1 primality tests are Miller-Rabin tests (flag 0x04).

trials
Decimal number indicating the number of primality trials that have been performed on the modulus.
size
Decimal number indicating the size of the prime in bits.
generator
The recommended generator for use with this modulus (hexadecimal).
modulus
The modulus itself in hexadecimal.

When performing Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange, sshd(8) first estimates the size of the modulus required to produce enough Diffie-Hellman output to sufficiently key the selected symmetric cipher. sshd(8) then randomly selects a modulus from Fa /etc/ssh/moduli that best meets the size requirement.  

SEE ALSO

ssh-keygen1, sshd(8)  

STANDARDS

M. Friedl N. Provos W. Simpson March 2006 RFC 4419 Diffie-Hellman Group Exchange for the Secure Shell (SSH) Transport Layer Protocol 2006


 

Index

NAME
DESCRIPTION
SEE ALSO
STANDARDS


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