Key Store

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Revision as of 10:11, 23 March 2021 by Tom (talk | contribs) (Linux)

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Full Title or Meme

Where Keys, Certificates and Bindings can be found on each Operating system.


The original Windows CAPI (Crypto API) was built on RSA supplied code by the AD team and treated certificates as the primary objects. Keys were depended from Certificates which were stored in the Windows Registry under either the Local Machine (HKLM) or or Current User (HKCU) branch. While the focus on Keys over Certificates changed with the CNG (Crypto Next Generation) code base and Key Store Objects appeared, the certificate language remained.

Physical Logical store Description of Contents
My Personal certificates associated with a private key controlled by the user or computer.
Root Trusted Root Certification Authorities certificates from implicitly trusted certification authorities (CAs).
 ?? Enterprise Trust certificate trust lists typically used to trust self-signed certificates from other organizations.
CA Intermediate Certification Authorities certificates issued to subordinate CAs in the certification hierarchy.
 ?? Active Directory User Object the user object certificate or certificates published in Active Directory.
TrustedPublisher Trusted Publishers certificates from trusted CAs.
 ?? Untrusted Certificates certificates that have been explicitly identified as untrusted.
Root Third-Party Root Certification Authorities trusted root certificates from CAs outside the internal certificate hierarchy.
TrustedPeople Trusted People certificates issued to users or entities that have been explicitly trusted.
ADDRESSBOOK Other People certificates issued to users or entities that have been implicitly trusted.
REQUEST Certificate Enrollment Requests pending or rejected certificate requests.
FlightRoot Preview Build Roots
TestSignRoot Test Roots
eSIM Certification Authorities eSIM Certification Authorities
Homegroup Machine Certificates Homegroup Machine Certificates
Remote Desktop Remote Desktop
SmartCardRoot Smart Card Trusted Roots
SMS SMS SMS is easy to hijack and should not be used for security purposes.
TrustedAppRoot Trusted Packaged App Installation Authorities
TrustedDevices Trusted Devices
WebHosting Web Hosting
Windows Live ID Token Issuer Windows Live ID Token Issuer
Windows Web Management Windows Web Management
ClientAuthIssuer N/A
MSIEHistoryJournal N/A
Trust N/A


Android adopted the Java Key Store along with their original use of the Java programming language before it was acquired by Oracle.


Apple calls this a Keychain. The metaphor is the chain that one puts physical keys on to keep them together.


Even more chaotic than Windows. Good luck trying to make any sense of all the different varieties.

The open source tool OpenSSL is perhaps the most generally useful tool for converting among the many different formats that have arisen over the years.