copy GNUPG keys for user from one box to another

Johan Wevers johanw at
Fri Feb 6 11:49:14 CET 2004

gabriel rosenkoetter wrote:

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

What permissions? You can't do a chmod, or set them on NTFS? GnuPG will
warn if the permissions are dangerous (although I admit I didn't test
that on my win2000 system because I use FAT32 there).

>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.

I suggested copying the keyfiles, not the option file. And copying between
GnuPG and PGP will of course require import/export (or even more when keys
are encrypted by algorithms the other doesn't support).

>Because keys aren't files,

In GunPG they are stored in files.

>they're objects that can be represented
>in several different ways singly and in sets in files.

Do I read some OO indoctrination here? They are stored in files, easy as
that. This argument is theoretical of what might be in some implementation.

>And the other reasons already mentioned.

Yes, the possibly already present keyring is of course a valid reason I
didn't think of in my reply. Since I always copy my public keyring around
(it isn't so big I need to split) I didn't think of that.

ir. J.C.A. Wevers         //  Physics and science fiction site:
johanw at   //
PGP/GPG public keys at

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list