copy GNUPG keys for user from one box to another

gabriel rosenkoetter gr at
Thu Feb 5 23:26:07 CET 2004

On Thu, Feb 05, 2004 at 10:07:04PM +0100, Johan Wevers wrote:
> Why so complicated? Why not just copy or ftp/scp the entire keyrings?

Because, especially if you're moving secret keys about, you may get
the permissions wrong. --import won't.

Because I've used similar procedures, just earlier today (though
with commercial PGP) to move a shared keypair from one user account
to another. Copying .pgp there isn't an option without a bunch of
manual editing (the config files include full paths to keyrings),
but exporting as one user and importing as the other Just Works.

Because keys aren't files, they're objects that can be represented
in several different ways singly and in sets in files.

And the other reasons already mentioned.

But mostly I was just expanding on the stated --export | --import
syntax, so that someone taking that advice blindly wouldn't be
confused by the subsequent lack of secret keys.

gabriel rosenkoetter
gr at
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