The Java KeyPairGenerator class (
java.security.KeyPairGenerator) is used to generate
asymmetric encryption / decryption key pairs. An asymmetric key pair consists of two keys. The first key is
typically used to encrypt data. The second key which is used to decrypt data encrypted with the first key.
Public Key, Private Key Type Key Pairs
The most commonly known type of asymmetric key pair is the public key, private key type of key pair. The private key is used to encrypt data, and the public key can be used to decrypt the data again. Actually, you could also encrypt data using the public key and decrypt it using the private key.
The private key is normally kept secret, and the public key can be made publicly available. Thus, if Jack encrypts some data with his private key, everyone in possession of Jack's public key can decrypt it.
Creating a KeyPairGenerator Instance
To use the Java
KeyPairGenerator you must first create a
KeyPairGenerator instance is done by calling the method
method. Here is an example of creating a Java
KeyPairGenerator keyPairGenerator = KeyPairGenerator.getInstance("RSA");
getInstance() method takes the name of the encryption algorithm to generate the key pair for.
In this example we use the name
Initializing the KeyPairGenerator
Depending on the algorithm the key pair is generated for, you may have to initialize the
instance. Initializing the
KeyPairGenerator is done by calling its
Here is an example of initializing a Java
This example initializes the
KeyPairGenerator to generate keys of 2048 bits in size.
Generating a Key Pair
To generate a
KeyPair with a
KeyPairGenerator you call the
method. Here is an example of generating a
KeyPair with the
KeyPair keyPair = keyPairGenerator.generateKeyPair();