Introduction to NSS

The Network Security Services (NSS) package is a set of libraries designed to support cross-platform development of security-enabled client and server applications. Applications built with NSS can support SSL v2 and v3, TLS, PKCS #5, PKCS #7, PKCS #11, PKCS #12, S/MIME, X.509 v3 certificates, and other security standards. This is useful for implementing SSL and S/MIME or other Internet security standards into an application.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.0 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

NSS Dependencies




User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/nss

Installation of NSS



This package does not support parallel build.

Install NSS by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../nss-3.30-standalone-1.patch &&

cd nss &&

make -j1 BUILD_OPT=1                  \
  NSPR_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/nspr  \
  USE_SYSTEM_ZLIB=1                   \
  ZLIB_LIBS=-lz                       \
  $([ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] && echo USE_64=1) \
  $([ -f /usr/include/sqlite3.h ] && echo NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1)

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

cd ../dist                                                          &&

install -v -m755 Linux*/lib/*.so              /usr/lib              &&
install -v -m644 Linux*/lib/{*.chk,libcrmf.a} /usr/lib              &&

install -v -m755 -d                           /usr/include/nss      &&
cp -v -RL {public,private}/nss/*              /usr/include/nss      &&
chmod -v 644                                  /usr/include/nss/*    &&

install -v -m755 Linux*/bin/{certutil,nss-config,pk12util} /usr/bin &&

install -v -m644 Linux*/lib/pkgconfig/nss.pc  /usr/lib/pkgconfig

Command Explanations

BUILD_OPT=1: This option is passed to make so that the build is performed with no debugging symbols built into the binaries and the default compiler optimizations are used.

NSPR_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/nspr: This option sets the location of the nspr headers.

USE_SYSTEM_ZLIB=1: This option is passed to make to ensure that the libssl3.so library is linked to the system installed zlib instead of the in-tree version.

ZLIB_LIBS=-lz: This option provides the linker flags needed to link to the system zlib.

$([ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] && echo USE_64=1): The USE_64=1 option is required on x86_64, otherwise make will try (and fail) to create 32-bit objects. The [ $(uname -m) = x86_64 ] test ensures it has no effect on a 32 bit system.

([ -f /usr/include/sqlite3.h ] && echo NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1): This tests if sqlite is installed and if so it echos the option NSS_USE_SYSTEM_SQLITE=1 to make so that libsoftokn3.so will link against the system version of sqlite.

Configuring NSS

If p11-kit-0.23.2 is installed, /usr/lib/libp11-kit.so can be used as a drop-in replacement for /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so to transparently make the system CAs available to NSS aware applications, rather than the static list provided by /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so. As the root user, execute the following commands:

readlink /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so || \
mv -v /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so.orig &&
ln -sfv libp11-kit.so /usr/lib/libnssckbi.so

Additionally, for dependent applications that do not use the internal database (/usr/lib/libnssckbi.so), the make-ca.sh script, included on the Certificate Authority Certificates page, will generate a system wide NSS DB.


Installed Programs: certutil, nss-config, and pk12util
Installed Libraries: libcrmf.a, libfreebl3.so, libfreeblpriv3.so, libgtest1.so, libnss3.so, libnssckbi.so, libnssdbm3.so, libnsssysinit.so, libnssutil3.so, libsmime3.so, libsoftokn3.so, and libssl3.so
Installed Directories: /usr/include/nss

Short Descriptions


is the Mozilla Certificate Database Tool. It is a command-line utility that can create and modify the Netscape Communicator cert8.db and key3.db database files. It can also list, generate, modify, or delete certificates within the cert8.db file and create or change the password, generate new public and private key pairs, display the contents of the key database, or delete key pairs within the key3.db file.


is used to determine the NSS library settings of the installed NSS libraries.


is a tool for importing certificates and keys from pkcs #12 files into NSS or exporting them. It can also list certificates and keys in such files.

Last updated on 2017-03-17 16:16:22 -0500