Amazon CloudFront
Developer Guide (API Version 2016-09-29)

Create a URL Signature Using Perl

This section includes a Perl script for Linux/Mac platforms that you can use to create the signature for private content. To create the signature, run the script with command line arguments that specify the CloudFront URL, the path to the private key of the signer, the key ID, and an expiration date for the URL. The tool can also decode signed URLs.


Creating a URL signature is just one part of the process of serving private content using a signed URL. For more information about the end-to-end process, see Using Signed URLs.

Example of Using a Perl Script to Create a Signed URL

The following example shows how you can use the Perl script provided in this topic to create an RTMP distribution signature. To start, save the script as a file called Then run the script using the following command line arguments:

$ --action encode --stream example/video.mp4 --private-key /path/to/my-private-key.pem --key-pair-id PK12345EXAMPLE --expires 1265838202

This script generates the policy statement from the command line arguments. The signature that it generates is an SHA1 hash of the policy statement.

The following is an example base64-encoded stream name:

mp4:example/video.mp4%3FPolicy%3DewogICJTdGF0ZW1lbnQiOlt7CiAgICAgICJSZXNvdXJjZSI 6ImRyciIsCiAgICAgICJDb25kaXRpb24iOnsKICAgICAgICAiSXBBZGRyZXNzIjp7IkFXUzpTb3VyY2V JcCI6IjAuMC4wLjAvMCJ9LAogICAgICAgICJEYXRlTGVzc1RoYW4iOnsiQVdTOkVwb2NoVGltZSI6MjE 0NTkxNjgwMH0KICAgICAgfQogICAgEXAMPLE_%26Signature%3DewtHqEXK~68tsZt-eOFnZKGwTf2a JlbKhXkK5SSiVqcG9pieCRV3xTEPtc29OzeXlsDvRycOM2WK0cXzcyYZhpl9tv2796ihHiCTAwIHQ8yP 17Af4nWtOLIZHoH6wkR3tU1cQHs8R1d-g-SlZGjNBXr~J2MbaJzm8i6EXAMPLE_%26Key-Pair-Id%3 DPK12345EXAMPLE

This signature authenticates the request to stream the private content example/video.mp4.

If you're using Adobe Flash Player and the stream name is passed in from a web page using JavaScript, you must base64-encode the signature and replace characters that are invalid in a URL request parameter (+, =, /) with characters that are valid (-, _, and ~, respectively).

If the stream name is not passed in from a web page, you don't need to base64-encode the signature. For example, you would not base64-encode the signature if you write your own player and the stream names are fetched from within the Adobe Flash .swf file.

The following example uses jwplayer with CloudFront.

<script type='text/javascript'> var so1 = new SWFObject ('', 'mpl', '640', '360', '9'); so1.addParam('allowfullscreen','true'); so1.addParam('allowscriptaccess','always'); so1.addParam('wmode','opaque'); so1.addVariable('streamer','rtmp://'); so1.addVariable("file","mp4:example/video.mp4%3FPolicy%3DewogICJTdGF0ZW1lbnQi Olt7CiAgICAgICJSZXNvdXJjZSI6ImRyciIsCiAgICAgICJDb25kaXRpb24iOnsKICAgICAgICA iSXBBZGRyZXNzIjp7IkFXUzpTb3VyY2VJcCI6IjAuMC4wLjAvMCJ9LAogICAgICAgICJEYXRlTG Vzc1RoYW4iOnsiQVdTOkVwb2NoVGltZSI6MjE0NTkxNjgwMH0KICAgICAgfQogICAgEXAMPLE_% 26Signature%3DewtHqEXK~68tsZt-eOFnZKGwTf2aJlbKhXkK5SSiVqcG9pieCRV3xTEPtc29O zeXlsDvRycOM2WK0cXzcyYZhpl9tv2796ihHiCTAwIHQ8yP17Af4nWtOLIZHoH6wkR3tU1cQHs8 R1d-g-SlZGjNBXr~J2MbaJzm8i6EXAMPLE_%26Key-Pair-Id%3DPK12345EXAMPLE so1.write('flv'); </script>

When you retrieve a stream to play from within an Adobe Flash .swf file, do not URL-encode the stream name. For example:

mp4:example/video.mp4?Policy=ewogICJTdGF0ZW1lbnQiOlt7CiAgICAgICJSZXNvdXJjZSI6ImR yciIsCiAgICAgICJDb25kaXRpb24iOnsKICAgICAgICAiSXBBZGRyZXNzIjp7IkFXUzpTb3VyY2VJcCI 6IjAuMC4wLjAvMCJ9LAogICAgICAgICJEYXRlTGVzc1RoYW4iOnsiQVdTOkVwb2NoVGltZSI6MjE0NTk xNjgwMH0KICAgICAgfQogICAgEXAMPLE_&Signature=ewtHqEXK~68tsZt-eOFnZKGwTf2aJlbKhXkK 5SSiVqcG9pieCRV3xTEPtc29OzeXlsDvRycOM2WK0cXzcyYZhpl9tv2796ihHiCTAwIHQ8yP17Af4nWt OLIZHoH6wkR3tU1cQHs8R1d-g-SlZGjNBXr~J2MbaJzm8i6EXAMPLE_&Key-Pair-Id=PK12345 EXAMPLE

For more information about the command line switches and features of this toolee the comments in the Perl source code, which is included in the next section.

See also

Source for the Perl Script to Create a Signed URL

The following Perl source code can be used to create a signed URL for CloudFront. Comments in the code include information about the command line switches and the features of the tool.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w # Copyright 2008 Amazon Technologies, Inc. Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); # you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at: # # # # This file is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. # See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License. =head1 - A tool to generate and verify AWS CloudFront signed URLs =head1 SYNOPSIS This script uses an existing RSA key pair to sign and verify AWS CloudFront signed URLs View the script source for details as to which CPAN packages are required beforehand. For help, try: --help URL signing examples: --action encode --url --policy sample_policy.json --private-key privkey.pem --key-pair-id mykey --action encode --url --expires 1257439868 --private-key privkey.pem --key-pair-id mykey Stream signing example: --action encode --stream videos/myvideo.mp4 --expires 1257439868 --private-key privkey.pem --key-pair-id mykey URL decode example: --action decode --url "http//" To generate an RSA key pair, you can use openssl and the following commands: # Generate a 1024bit key pair openssl genrsa -out private-key.pem 1024 openssl rsa -in private-key.pem -pubout -out public-key.pem =head1 OPTIONS =over 8 =item B<--help> Print a help message and exits. =item B<--action> [action] The action to execute. action can be one of: encode - Generate a signed URL (using a canned policy or a user policy) decode - Decode a signed URL =item B<--url> The URL to en/decode =item B<--stream> The stream to en/decode =item B<--private-key> The path to your private key. =item B<--key-pair-id> The AWS Portal assigned key pair identifier. =item B<--policy> The CloudFront policy document. =item B<--expires> The Unix epoch time when the URL is to expire. If both this option and the --policy option are specified, --policy will be used. Otherwise, this option alone will use a canned policy. =back =cut use strict; use warnings; # you might need to use CPAN to get these modules. # run perl -MCPAN -e "install <module>" to get them. # The openssl command line will also need to be in your $PATH. use File::Temp qw/tempfile/; use Getopt::Long; use IPC::Open2; use MIME::Base64 qw(encode_base64 decode_base64); use Pod::Usage; use URI; my $CANNED_POLICY = '{"Statement":[{"Resource":"<RESOURCE>","Condition":{"DateLessThan":{"AWS:EpochTime":<EXPIRES>}}}]}'; my $POLICY_PARAM = "Policy"; my $EXPIRES_PARAM = "Expires"; my $SIGNATURE_PARAM = "Signature"; my $KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM = "Key-Pair-Id"; my $verbose = 0; my $policy_filename = ""; my $expires_epoch = 0; my $action = ""; my $help = 0; my $key_pair_id = ""; my $url = ""; my $stream = ""; my $private_key_filename = ""; my $result = GetOptions("action=s" => \$action, "policy=s" => \$policy_filename, "expires=i" => \$expires_epoch, "private-key=s" => \$private_key_filename, "key-pair-id=s" => \$key_pair_id, "verbose" => \$verbose, "help" => \$help, "url=s" => \$url, "stream=s" => \$stream, ); if ($help or !$result) { pod2usage(1); exit; } if ($url eq "" and $stream eq "") { print STDERR "Must include a stream or a URL to encode or decode with the --stream or --url option\n"; exit; } if ($url ne "" and $stream ne "") { print STDERR "Only one of --url and --stream may be specified\n"; exit; } if ($url ne "" and !is_url_valid($url)) { exit; } if ($stream ne "") { exit unless is_stream_valid($stream); # The signing mechanism is identical, so from here on just pretend we're # dealing with a URL $url = $stream; } if ($action eq "encode") { # The encode action will generate a private content URL given a base URL, # a policy file (or an expires timestamp) and a key pair id parameter my $private_key; my $public_key; my $public_key_file; my $policy; if ($policy_filename eq "") { if ($expires_epoch == 0) { print STDERR "Must include policy filename with --policy argument or an expires" . "time using --expires\n"; } $policy = $CANNED_POLICY; $policy =~ s/<EXPIRES>/$expires_epoch/g; $policy =~ s/<RESOURCE>/$url/g; } else { if (! -e $policy_filename) { print STDERR "Policy file $policy_filename does not exist\n"; exit; } $expires_epoch = 0; # ignore if set $policy = read_file($policy_filename); } if ($private_key_filename eq "") { print STDERR "You must specific the path to your private key file with --private-key\n"; exit; } if (! -e $private_key_filename) { print STDERR "Private key file $private_key_filename does not exist\n"; exit; } if ($key_pair_id eq "") { print STDERR "You must specify an AWS portal key pair id with --key-pair-id\n"; exit; } my $encoded_policy = url_safe_base64_encode($policy); my $signature = rsa_sha1_sign($policy, $private_key_filename); my $encoded_signature = url_safe_base64_encode($signature); my $generated_url = create_url($url, $encoded_policy, $encoded_signature, $key_pair_id, $expires_epoch); if ($stream ne "") { print "Encoded stream (for use within a swf):\n" . $generated_url . "\n"; print "Encoded and escaped stream (for use on a webpage):\n" . escape_url_for_webpage($generated_url) . "\n"; } else { print "Encoded URL:\n" . $generated_url . "\n"; } } elsif ($action eq "decode") { my $decoded = decode_url($url); if (!$decoded) { print STDERR "Improperly formed URL\n"; exit; } print_decoded_url($decoded); } else { # No action specified, print help. But only if this is run as a program (caller will be empty) pod2usage(1) unless caller(); } # Decode a private content URL into its component parts sub decode_url { my $url = shift; if ($url =~ /(.*)\?(.*)/) { my $base_url = $1; my $params = $2; my @unparsed_params = split(/&/, $params); my %params = (); foreach my $param (@unparsed_params) { my ($key, $val) = split(/=/, $param); $params{$key} = $val; } my $encoded_signature = ""; if (exists $params{$SIGNATURE_PARAM}) { $encoded_signature = $params{"Signature"}; } else { print STDERR "Missing Signature URL parameter\n"; return 0; } my $encoded_policy = ""; if (exists $params{$POLICY_PARAM}) { $encoded_policy = $params{$POLICY_PARAM}; } else { if (!exists $params{$EXPIRES_PARAM}) { print STDERR "Either the Policy or Expires URL parameter needs to be specified\n"; return 0; } my $expires = $params{$EXPIRES_PARAM}; my $policy = $CANNED_POLICY; $policy =~ s/<EXPIRES>/$expires/g; my $url_without_cf_params = $url; $url_without_cf_params =~ s/$SIGNATURE_PARAM=[^&]*&?//g; $url_without_cf_params =~ s/$POLICY_PARAM=[^&]*&?//g; $url_without_cf_params =~ s/$EXPIRES_PARAM=[^&]*&?//g; $url_without_cf_params =~ s/$KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM=[^&]*&?//g; if ($url_without_cf_params =~ /(.*)\?$/) { $url_without_cf_params = $1; } $policy =~ s/<RESOURCE>/$url_without_cf_params/g; $encoded_policy = url_safe_base64_encode($policy); } my $key = ""; if (exists $params{$KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM}) { $key = $params{$KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM}; } else { print STDERR "Missing $KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM parameter\n"; return 0; } my $policy = url_safe_base64_decode($encoded_policy); my %ret = (); $ret{"base_url"} = $base_url; $ret{"policy"} = $policy; $ret{"key"} = $key; return \%ret; } else { return 0; } } # Print a decoded URL out sub print_decoded_url { my $decoded = shift; print "Base URL: \n" . $decoded->{"base_url"} . "\n"; print "Policy: \n" . $decoded->{"policy"} . "\n"; print "Key: \n" . $decoded->{"key"} . "\n"; } # Encode a string with base 64 encoding and replace some invalid URL characters sub url_safe_base64_encode { my ($value) = @_; my $result = encode_base64($value); $result =~ tr|+=/|-_~|; return $result; } # Decode a string with base 64 encoding. URL-decode the string first # followed by reversing any special character ("+=/") translation. sub url_safe_base64_decode { my ($value) = @_; $value =~ s/%([0-9A-Fa-f]{2})/chr(hex($1))/eg; $value =~ tr|-_~|+=/|; my $result = decode_base64($value); return $result; } # Create a private content URL sub create_url { my ($path, $policy, $signature, $key_pair_id, $expires) = @_; my $result; my $separator = $path =~ /\?/ ? '&' : '?'; if ($expires) { $result = "$path$separator$EXPIRES_PARAM=$expires&$SIGNATURE_PARAM=$signature&$KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM=$key_pair_id"; } else { $result = "$path$separator$POLICY_PARAM=$policy&$SIGNATURE_PARAM=$signature&$KEY_PAIR_ID_PARAM=$key_pair_id"; } $result =~ s/\n//g; return $result; } # Sign a document with given private key file. # The first argument is the document to sign # The second argument is the name of the private key file sub rsa_sha1_sign { my ($to_sign, $pvkFile) = @_; return write_to_program("openssl sha1 -sign $pvkFile", $to_sign); } # Helper function to write data to a program sub write_to_program { my ($prog, $data) = @_; my $pid = open2(*README, *WRITEME, $prog); print WRITEME $data; close WRITEME; # slurp entire contents of output into scalar my $output; local $/ = undef; $output = <README>; close README; waitpid($pid, 0); return $output; } # Read a file into a string and return the string sub read_file { my ($file) = @_; open(INFILE, "<$file") or die("Failed to open $file: $!"); my $str = join('', <INFILE>); close INFILE; return $str; } sub is_url_valid { my ($url) = @_; # HTTP distributions start with http[s]:// and are the correct thing to sign if ($url =~ /^https?:\/\//) { return 1; } else { print STDERR "CloudFront requires absolute URLs for HTTP distributions\n"; return 0; } } sub is_stream_valid { my ($stream) = @_; if ($stream =~ /^rtmp:\/\// or $stream =~ /^\/?cfx\/st/) { print STDERR "Streaming distributions require that only the stream name is signed.\n"; print STDERR "The stream name is everything after, but not including, cfx/st/\n"; return 0; } else { return 1; } } # flash requires that the query parameters in the stream name are url # encoded when passed in through javascript, etc. This sub handles the minimal # required url encoding. sub escape_url_for_webpage { my ($url) = @_; $url =~ s/\?/%3F/g; $url =~ s/=/%3D/g; $url =~ s/&/%26/g; return $url; } 1;