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Backing up your GPG keys

Posted on:May 30, 2024 at 11:20 AM (1 min read)

Backing up GPG keys is quite simple, but easily forgot (for me). Just put it a notes to myself on how I back it up and restore it.

To export keys and its owner trust

gpg --export --armor YOUR_ID > YOUR_ID.public.asc
gpg --export-secret-keys --armor YOUR_ID > YOUR_ID.private.asc
gpg --export-secret-subkeys --armor YOUR_ID > YOUR_ID.sub_private.asc
gpg --export-ownertrust > ownertrust.txt

Optionaly, you might want this to cancel your pgp keys if you lose private keys

gpg --output YOUR_ID.asc --gen-revoke YOUR_ID

To import keys and trusts

gpg --import YOUR_ID.public.asc
gpg --import YOUR_ID.private.asc
gpg --import YOUR_ID.sub_private.asc
gpg --import-ownertrust ownertrust.txt

To make it ultimately trusted (optional)

gpg --edit-key YOUR_ID
gpg> trust
Your decision? 5 (Ultimate trust)