Further thoughts on Windows Install

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Thu Apr 23 10:16:40 CEST 2009

> Yes, that's true.  However, this could lead to problems if some day
> the format of GnuPG's keyring files should change, and especially
> if it should change in some architecture-specific way.

The latter won't ever happen.  All file formats used by GnuPG are
platform neutral; i.e. we use well defined lengths for all integers,
utf-8 for string encoding and network byte ordering.

> the same architecture.  Well, of course, it would be a pain if
> a future GnuPG version would not be able to read the current version's
> files, but it *could* happen one day.  Of course, I'm NOT speaking

The time required to write and test the migration code is actually the
reason why we are still using the old format ;-).

>   gpg --export --armor > pubkeys.txt
>   gpg --export-secret-keys --armor > seckeys.txt
>   gpg --export-ownertrust > ownertrust.txt

You also better backup the config giles, whoever, they might need
adjustments if gpg is installed somewhere else.  The option --armor is
not required but might be helpful in case the files are transported via
FTP and and one forgets to use switch to binary mode.

> Still, for the present, all keyrings on all versions of GnuPG seem
> to be compatible, so, *for the present*, it is easier to just copy
> the files over.  The whole point is, that's not guaranteed to work
> forever :)


The whole discussion makes me think about a backup and restore tool.
This would in particular be useful for GnuPG-2, which requires a couple
files more to be backed up.



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Auschnahme regelt ein Bundeschgesetz.

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