My understanding is that during ssl negotiation, the client (i.e. curl) sends a list of ciphers to the server, and the server replies with its preferred choice.

How do I see the list of ciphers that curl is sending?

3 Answers 3


There is a website that offers curl cipher request detection as a service:

curl https://www.howsmyssl.com/a/check

However, it does not accept all ciphers - if one of the ciphers they accept is not on the list that your curl is sending, then you will not be able to get a response at all.


You can use Wireshark. For example, if you set a packet filter of "tcp port 443" and then set the display filter to "ssl", you'll get output like this:

Wireshark screenshot showing Client Hello of TLS

You can see that the "Client Hello" packet shows cipher suites like TLS_AES_128_GCM_SHA256.


This answer [1] is a good start, but it glosses over how to actually create a self-signed certificate, and the answer doesnt work without that part. Further, the article [2] they link to with instruction on how to create a self-signed certificate is using OpenSSL, which is good for some purposes, but maybe not ideal for creating a self-signed certificate, as it makes the process harder than it needs to be. To that end, I found another tool [3], thats much simpler:

generate_cert -host localhost

Its just a single file written in Go, with no external dependencies. After you run the above command, you can then use OpenSSL or similar to start a server:

openssl s_server -msg -accept 8080 -cert cert.pem -key key.pem 

Then make a request like this:

curl -k https://localhost:8080
  1. https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/667824
  2. https://netburner.com/learn/creating-a-self-signed-certificate-for-secure-iot-applications
  3. https://github.com/golang/go/blob/go1.17.4/src/crypto/tls/generate_cert.go

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