mobile GPG installation

Michael Nahrath
Sat May 10 00:49:02 2003

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Some friends of mine are travelling people, working in different places all
over the country, having no own flat and not at all an own computer.
Although they deal with traditional craftsmanship some are rather up to date
when it comes to digital communication. Usually their first question
whenever one visits me is "Do you have internet, may I check may mails?" :-)

They have their mail accounts at some freemailer services and use them
solely via web frontend on other people's computers or in internet cafes.

I have been asked if there is a practical way to use OpenPGP under such
Even if they would carry their secret and public keyrings with them on a
floppy or on a USB-stick GPG needs to import the keys to it's own
directories or it would need a lot of extra typing for each command.

That includes the risk that by error the secret key would be imported and
remain on the computer's users keyring or other unwanted effects.

The other problem is that most computers don't have an OpenPGP application
installed by default and that it is always a bit delicate to install
software on other people's computers when you are a guest.

Is there a way to make a fully running GPG-installation on a USB stick or
some other removable medium? Simply plug in your stick and use the GPG
application and your own keyrings from it directly, without any local
installation or permanent changes required.

Best of all was a FAT32 formatted medium that contains several installations
for different OSes, but (like it or not ...) Windows was the most important

Greeting, Michi

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