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GNU Nettle
Cryptographic library

Nettle is a cryptographic library designed to fit any context: in crypto toolkits for object-oriented languages, in applications like LSH or GnuPG, or even in kernel space. Users need to keep track of available algorithms and their properties and variants. The algorithm selection process is dictated by the protocol you want to implement. Also, requirements of applications differ, so an API that fits one application well may be useless for another (which is why so many different cryptographic libraries exist). Nettle avoids this problem by doing one thing, the low-level crypto stuff, and providing a simple but general interface to it. In particular, it doesn't do algorithm selection, memory allocation, or any I/O. However, users can build application- and context-specific interfaces on top of Nettle and share code, testcases, benchmarks, documentation, etc.


User manual included and available in HTML format from

Related Projects

  • BeeCrypt
  • Lsh


LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
License:GPLv3Genium25 April 2015
License:LGPLv3orlaterGenium25 April 2015
License:GPLv2Genium25 April 2015

Leaders and contributors

Niels Moeller Maintainer

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
DeveloperBug Tracking Subscribe
Debian (Ref)
DeveloperVCS Repository Webview

Software prerequisites

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 22 February 2018.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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