Where's my private key?

Henry Hertz Hobbit hhhobbit7 at netscape.net
Wed Aug 3 09:35:06 CEST 2005

You wrote:

>Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005 09:56:44 -0300
>From: Eduardo <eduardo at minicom.com.br>
>Subject: Where's my private key?
>To: gnupg-users at gnupg.org
>Message-ID: <42EE1C0C.9060300 at minicom.com.br>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>Hi folks.
>Yesterday I needed to crypt one config file on my Linux box and was
>wondering where is my private key, cause I have the private key in my
>desktop (in my company) and I need to open a crypted file in my house.
>How can I 'take' my private key from company to work?

On the machine where you HAVE your keys:

tar -czf gpg.tgz ./.gnupg

copy the gpg.tgz on to some removable storage medium.  It will easily
fit on a floppy. If you don't have keys yet at home, on that machine
(you suggested you have Linux both at home and work but I don't know
for sure) then all you have to do is copy the the file to your home
directory and type:

tar -xzf gpg.tgz

On the other hand, if you already have your own key ring at home you
will need to import the keys.  There are the following three files
in the .gnupg folder:

pubring.gpg     # stores the public keys
secring.gpg     # has your secret keys
trustdb.gpg     # the levels of trust for signed keys

You should just be able export both your public and secret keys at
work, and then import them at home if you already have an existing
set of keys there using:

gpg --export > all.gpg

where the keys are, copy the all.gpg file to a floppy and take it
home and type

gpg --import all.gpg

That will get you ALL of the keys, both public and secret.  You will
of course have to give YOUR imported secret key the highest level of
trust when signing it because after all, it is YOUR key.

Never fear, I do this all of the time, but normally just copying the
keys (I also copy but old public pubring.gpg~ and the random_seed file
as well) from one Linux box which is authoratative to multiple boxes
running Windows, Linux, and the BSDs.

If one of the machines is running Windows (you said Linux at home),
please let me know and I will tell you how to do it there.  Just
remember that if you do NOT have any keys yet on the one machine, you
are better off just copying the entire .gnupg (on Windows it is in
aother folder in your Documents and Settings area) contents to the other
machine.  If you already have keyrings on both machines, then export
from one and import on the other one.


PS  Please reply to the Cc: address, not this one.
Key Name:  "Henry Hertz Hobbit" <hhhobbit at securemecca.net>
pub   1024D/E1FA6C62 2005-04-11 [expires: 2006-04-11]
Key fingerprint = ACA0 B65B E20A 552E DFE2 EE1D 75B9 D818 E1FA 6C62

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