MakeKeys Overview

The MakeKeys tool is a PC-side command-line tool that enables Symbian application developers to create a private key-public key pair and generate certificate requests.


The MakeKeys tool can be used to create a private key-public key (in form of a self-signed certificate) pair. The private key can then be used by the SignSIS tool to digitally sign an installation file. The self-signed certificate can be used by the MakeKeys tool to create a certificate request file, which can then be submitted to a Certification Authority (CA) for signing.

Note: The MakeKeys tool cannot generate Certification Authority (CA) certificates.

Key concepts and terms


A key is a constant value applied using a cryptographic algorithm to encrypt text or to decrypt encrypted text.

Keys are classified as symmetric and asymmetric based on the type of algorithm applied. If the same key is used for both encryption and decryption, it is symmetric. If different keys are used for encryption and decryption, they are asymmetric. Asymmetric keys exist in the form of a private key-public key pair, where the public key is used for encryption and the private key is used for decryption. For more information, see Public Key Cryptography.

Certification Authority

Certification Authority (CAs) is a trusted third party that provides root certificates to users (End Entities). For details, see Certificates.

Digital signature

A digital signature is used to verify that a message (or data) actually came from the sender (the one who signed the message) and that it has not been tampered with. For details, see Digital Signatures.

Related tasks
MakeKeys Tutorials
Related reference
MakeKeys Reference