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Arm Mbed TLS provides a comprehensive SSL/TLS solution and makes it easy for developers to include cryptographic and SSL/TLS capabilities in their software and embedded products. As an SSL library, it provides an intuitive API, readable source code and a minimal and highly configurable code footprint.

We have adapted and preintegrated Mbed TLS with Mbed OS. You can import it from its standalone release. This edition of Mbed TLS does not include test code or the scripts used in the development of the library. You can find all of these in the standalone release.

Note: Mbed TLS needs a secure source of random numbers; make sure that your target board has one and that it is fully ported to Arm Mbed OS. You can read more about this in our porting guide.

Mbed TLS examples

You can try the following examples:

  • TLS client: Downloads a file from an HTTPS server (os.mbed.com) and looks for a specific string in that file.

  • Benchmark: Measures the time taken to perform basic cryptographic functions used in the library.

  • Hashing: Demonstrates the various APIs for computing hashes of data (also known as message digests) with SHA-256.

  • Authenticated encryption: Demonstrates using the Cipher API for encrypting and authenticating data with AES-CCM.

Each of them comes with complete usage instructions as a readme file in the repository.

Configuring Mbed TLS features

Mbed TLS simplifies enabling and disabling features to meet the needs of a particular project, through compilation options. The list of compilation flags is available in the fully documented configuration file, config.h.

For example, in an application called myapp, if you want to enable the EC J-PAKE key exchange and disable the CBC cipher mode, you can create a file named mbedtls-config-changes.h in the myapp directory containing the following lines:



Then create a file named mbed_app.json at the root of your application with the following contents:

    "macros": ["MBEDTLS_USER_CONFIG_FILE=\"mbedtls-config-changes.h\""]

Mbed TLS platform context

Some hardware accelerators require initialization, regardless of the specific cryptography engine. For this, we introduced mbedtls_platform_setup() and mbedtls_platform_terminate().

As the examples show, you must call the mbedtls_platform_setup() function before you call any Mbed TLS API. After using the Mbed TLS API, you must call mbedtls_platform_teardown() to terminate the platform hardware driver. For readability reasons, we suggest you set the platform context parameter for these functions as NULL, as it is not being used in Mbed OS.

    int ret = 0;

    if((ret = mbedtls_platform_setup(NULL)) != 0) {
        mbedtls_printf("Platform initialization failed with error %d\r\n", ret);
        return 1;

    /* call Mbed TLS code here */

    return 0;

Other resources

The Mbed TLS website contains many other useful resources for developers, such as developer documentation, knowledge base articles and a support forum.

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