OpenSSL 3.0.x + Python 3.9.x + Enable FIPS- Need help/inputs

Dr Paul Dale pauli at
Thu Apr 20 06:01:49 UTC 2023

You example indicates that you were attempting to use a legacy algorithm 
that the legacy provider implements.  This will never be FIPS compliant.

Yes, you can have many library contexts.  Just be very careful which you 
are using for FIPS and which you are using for legacy access. Non-legacy 
access to non-FIPS algorithms will invalidate any FIPS compliance.

Dr Paul Dale

On 20/4/23 15:39, Prasad, PCRaghavendra wrote:
> Thanks, Dr.Paul,
> So we can have another context for the default providers along with 
> the fips and base providers?
> FIPS and base providers are loaded in the default context (NULL) and 
> we are not using any specific lib context for default providers.
> As we want to run our application only in the FIPS mode so we didn’t 
> load the default provider.
> We will explore the points which you have mentioned below and try to 
> integrate and test them again
> One more thing when we searched for this error most of the places they 
> were saying we need to use --openssl-legacy-provideris it the right 
> way to add this flag?
> Thanks, Dr. Paul for the information.
> Internal Use - Confidential
> *From:* openssl-users <openssl-users-bounces at> *On Behalf 
> Of *Dr Paul Dale
> *Sent:* Thursday, April 20, 2023 7:10 AM
> *To:* Prasad, PCRaghavendra; openssl-users at
> *Cc:* Ds, Pradeep Kumar
> *Subject:* Re: OpenSSL 3.0.x + Python 3.9.x + Enable FIPS- Need 
> help/inputs
> It looks like you're trying to access non-approved crypto.  My 
> suggestion would be to create a new library context specifically for 
> this using OSSL_LIB_CTX_new().  Load only the default provider into 
> that context using OSSL_PROVIDER_load().  Do not call 
> EVP_default_properties_enable_fips() on it.
> You should only use this new library context for non-FIPS operations.  
> If there is any doubt about what is permitted and what isn't, contact 
> your FIPS lab for clarification.
> Paul Dale
> On 20/4/23 01:35, Prasad, PCRaghavendra wrote:
>     Hi Dr.Paul/Team,
>     Good Morning,
>     We have integrated OpenSSL 3.0.8 in our code along with fips
>     enablement. We are using python 3.11 version.
>     We have used the default search path as our application directory
>     (OSSL_PROVIDER_set_default_search_path) and loaded the “base” and
>     “fips” providers and not the default provider.
>     OSSL_PROVIDER_load(None, b"base")
>     OSSL_PROVIDER_load(None, b"fips")
>     After that, we enabled the FIPS using
>     libcrypto.EVP_default_properties_enable_fips() call.
>     Should we load the default provider as well or base and fips are
>     good enough?
>     Sometimes we are getting the below error message from Python
>     cryptography package
>     cryptography.exceptions.InternalError: Unknown OpenSSL error. This
>     error is commonly encountered when another library is not cleaning
>     up the OpenSSL error stack. If you are using cryptography with
>     another library that uses OpenSSL try disabling it before
>     reporting a bug. Otherwise please file an issue at
> []
>     <;!!LpKI!k2dOju-PcFtDgXJsvQ8wln-keBoqB3Zo6epPOzNg4aOtQsO98RQzfy_XPLDhXGAB2LO6UMYRTiMVr8SPtOggfQ$>
>     with information on how to reproduce this.
>     ([_OpenSSLErrorWithText(code=50856204, lib=6, reason=524556,
>     reason_text=b'error:0308010C:digital envelope
>     routines::unsupported')])
>     This error is intermittent is what we are observing as we have
>     already tested the complete application couple of times
>     Any thoughts or inputs on this please will help us in debugging
>     more on this issue.
>     Thanks,
>     Raghavendra
>     Internal Use - Confidential
>     *From:* Dr Paul Dale <pauli at> <mailto:pauli at>
>     *Sent:* Wednesday, March 8, 2023 11:02 AM
>     *To:* Prasad, PCRaghavendra; openssl-users at
>     *Cc:* Ds, Pradeep Kumar; Kuppam, Pradeep; Kappgal, Srinath
>     *Subject:* Re: OpenSSL 3.0.x + Python 3.9.x + Enable FIPS- Need
>     help/inputs
>         Are there any specific .h files where we can refer to this
>         method that needs to be used ( ex: evp.h )?
>     #include "openssl/evp.h" should be enough to get the EVP APIs. 
>     You will need other includes for other parts of OpenSSL but that
>     covers EVP well enough.
>         still, are there any files that we can go through once before
>         calling in the fips mode?
>     Turn on -Wdeprecated or equivalent in your compile and the low
>     level calls will be flagged.  They should all be deprecated.
>         One more doubt is How can we set fips enabled for the complete
>         application (process/service) while running so that if we are
>         using non-compliant algorithms/methods it should throw errors?
>         Is it possible in OpenSSL 3.0.x?
>     The call you are looking for is:
>     EVP_set_default_properties(libctx, "fips=yes");
>     I strongly suggest reading the documentation about the FIPS
>     provider []
>     <;!!LpKI!gwsGt_60jqaHzhWTEXZCwSn0frcRAuJbbxYQLrkbfBfkw9-Eg_mdOnYzU6EDHNOBOR25XSXKcqHcPO1X7_TtGA$>
>     and the migration guide []
>     <;!!LpKI!gwsGt_60jqaHzhWTEXZCwSn0frcRAuJbbxYQLrkbfBfkw9-Eg_mdOnYzU6EDHNOBOR25XSXKcqHcPO2zYsa_AA$>. 
>     Both the avoidance of low level calls and setting the default
>     properties are covered therein.  There are a number of other
>     nuances to trip over when using the FIPS provider.
>     Paul Dale
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