Adding keys

Chris Knadle Chris.Knadle at
Wed Aug 18 22:05:58 CEST 2010

On Wednesday 18 August 2010 11:09:02 Madhusudan Singh wrote:
> On Machine A (that I no longer have), I created a GPG key with email
> address A. Before I got rid of the machine, I backed up everything to disk
> (so I have the .gnupg folder and when I try using the keys within with
> certain scripts (using pathnames), the key works (it authenticates me to
> my Amazon S3 backup).
> On Machine B (that I am currently using), I created another GPG key with a
> different email address (B). I am using that key to make encrypted
> duplicity backups to a local Linux server (which is different from Amazon
> S3 - I am a fan of redundant, geographically diverse backups). This key
> appears in the output of gpg --list-keys (while the other one, for obvious
> reasons, does not).
> I want to merge the two keys in some way so that I get both keys listed.
> Importing a public key appears to be standard procedure. But what I need is
> access to the secret key for both keys so that I can make both the Amazon
> S3 and local Linux server backups without being forced to pass paths to
> certain scripts.

As far as I know there's no way to "merge keys".  Each encryption key is tied 
to a particular primary key, so there's no way to move that key to be "under" 
a different primary key.  You could create a second UID on the "Machine B" key 
that has the same email address as "Machine A", but the encryption key used 
would still be different -- encryption keys are tied to the primary key, and 
not to a particular UID or a particular email address.  [I hope that makes 

You can /import/ the secret key for "Machine A", which is what Robert was 
explaining.  This will let you use that key as well as the one that you're 
currently using for "Machine B".

At least that's my current understanding.

  -- Chris


Chris Knadle
Chris.Knadle at

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list