Commit d3990825 authored by Jamie Tanna's avatar Jamie Tanna

Blogument JOSE signing on the command-line

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title: "Creating Signed JOSE Objects with Ruby"
description: "How to use `ruby-jose` to create a signed JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) object on the command-line."
- blogumentation
- ruby
- command-line
- jwt
- jose
license_code: Apache-2.0
license_prose: CC-BY-NC-SA-4.0
date: 2020-09-02T15:21:01+0100
slug: "sign-jose-ruby"
I've written before about how to [create a Signed JWT with Ruby]({{< ref 2020-06-15-sign-jwt-ruby >}}).
But sometimes you don't want a [JSON Web Token (JWT)]( You actually just want to create a [JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE)]( object. This could be that you want to try and create JWT-like formats, but with invalid fields, or you just want to sign arbitrary objects.
We'll create a new command-line tool which allows a file of content to be signed:
ruby sign.rb content.txt 'hmac-key-here'
ruby sign.rb payload.json 'hmac-key-here'
ruby sign.rb payload.json 'hmac-key-here' 'HS256'
ruby sign.rb payload.json '/path/to/key.pem' 'RS256'
ruby sign.rb payload.json '/path/to/key.pem' 'ES256'
We can utilise the great [ruby-jose]( library to sign an arbitrary payload of data to provide the following script:
require 'jose'
def read_key(maybe_secret)
if File.exists? maybe_secret
JOSE::JWK.from_pem_file maybe_secret
JOSE::JWK.from_oct maybe_secret
payload = ARGV[0]
jwk = read_key(ARGV[1])
algorithm = ARGV[2] || 'HS256'
options = {
'alg' => algorithm,
puts jwk.sign(payload, options).compact
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