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Adds support to Ruby for encrypting, decrypting, signing and validating the signatures of XML documents, according to the XML Encryption Syntax and Processing standard, by wrapping around the xmlsec C library and adding relevant methods to Nokogiri::XML::Document.


Install this before attempting to install; or else it may fail (tested on CentOS 7) while trying to find -lltdl from the xmlsec1-openssl lib. I'm guessing it's a dependency. Someone else may know more.

yum install libtool-ltdl-devel

# Debian/Ubuntu
apt install -y libxmlsec1-dev

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'nokogiri-xmlsec'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install nokogiri-xmlsec


Several methods are added to Nokogiri::XML::Document which expose this gem's functionality.


The sign! method adds a digital signature to the XML document so that it can later be determined whether the document itself has been tampered with. If the document changes, the signature will be invalid.

Signing a document will add XML nodes directly to the document itself, and then returns itself.

# First, get an XML document
doc = Nokogiri::XML("<doc><greeting>Hello, World!</greeting></doc>")

# Sign the document with a certificate, a key, and a key name
doc.sign! cert: 'certificate data',
          key: 'private key data',
          name: 'private key name',
          digest_alg: 'sha256',
          signature_alg: 'rsa-sha256'

If you pass cert, the certificate will be included as part of the signature, so that it can be later verified by certificate instead of by key.

name can be used to verify the signature with any of a set of keys, as in the following example:

Signature verification

Verification of signatures always returns true if successful, false otherwise.

# Verify the document's signature to ensure it has not been tampered with
  'key-name-1' => 'public key contents',
  'key-name-2' => 'another public key content'

In the above example, the name field from the signing process will be used to determine which key to validate with. If you plan to always verify with the same key, you can do it like so, effectively ignoring the name value:

# Verify the document's signature with a specific key
doc.verify_with key: 'public key contents'

Finally, you can also verify with a certificate:

# Verify the document's signature with a single certificate
doc.verify_with cert: 'certificate data'

# Verify the document's signature with multiple certificates. Any one match
# will pass verification.
doc.verify_with certs: [ 'cert1', 'cert2', 'cert3' ]

If the certificate has been installed to your system certificates, then you can verify signatures like so:

# Verify with installed CA certificates

Encryption & Decryption

Encrypted documents can only be decrypted with the private key that corresponds to the public key that was used to encrypt it. Thus, the party that encrypted the document can be sure that the document will only be readable by its intended recipient.

Both encryption and decryption of a document manipulates the XML nodes of the document in-place. Both methods return the original document, after the changes have been made to it.

To encrypt a document, use a public key:

doc.encrypt! key: 'public key content'

To decrypt a document, use a private key:

doc.decrypt! key: 'private key content'

Limitations and Known Issues

Following is a list of limitations and/or issues I know about, but have no immediate plan to resolve. This is probably because I haven't needed the functionality, and no one has sent a pull request. (Hint, hint!)

  • Currently, it is not possible to encrypt/decrypt individual XML nodes. The nokogiri-xmlsec operations must be performed on the entire document. You can sign an individual node.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request