I am at a loss. I want to create a self-signed certificate to sign PDFs with Okular. I have not found any step-by-step directions that work. I tried creating and installing a certificate, but Okular did not recognize it. This was couple weeks ago, so I am hazy on the details.

Background: I am aware that a self-signed certificate does not really mean much. But at my university people on Windows routinely sign PDFs with Adobe with meaningless certificates, and I want to be able to do the same. So what matters here is not data security, but being able to do what the local bureaucrats accept.

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    Install xca, it will make things far easier. Basic all you do is crate a root cert, then sign it with itself. Then optionally use that to sign an intermediate, then finally create a user cert and sign that with the root or intermediate. Things to watch out for, root & intermediate must have the CA box ticked, and for the end cert you have to select some additional usage options, except that I cannot tell you what as my system is broken. But really, install xca, you won't look back. Poor instructions, hence comment.
    – Bib
    Nov 23, 2021 at 18:56
  • Worked perfectly, thank you very much!
    – gaussian
    Nov 23, 2021 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


Following @Bib's comment I did the following:

  1. Installed XCA
  2. Created a new certificate database and password for the database
  3. Created a certificate valid for digital signing only
  4. Exported it as a .p12-file.
  5. Imported the .p12-file into Firefox (the default key location for Okular)
  6. Activated the certificate (Okular - Backends - PDF) in Okular

Now it works on Okular like intended.

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