Syncing Keys between multiple computers?

Aaron Toponce aaron.toponce at
Tue May 3 14:36:32 CEST 2011

On Sun, May 01, 2011 at 03:49:53PM -0400, Christopher Tran wrote:
> Whats the easiest way to keep GPG keys synced between my computers?  Like, I have my MacBook, which is usually my main machine, but I also have my netbook which I prefer carrying around and sometimes I update my key with User IDs on either machine but the only way I have thought of is to export and import every single time.  Is there an easier way?

I keep my keys (as well as RC files, and other things) in a version control
system (VCS). I run Mutt as my primary MUA, which is configured with
OpenPGP. Whenever I encounter a newly signed message, I have GnuPG download
the public key to verify the message. As a result, I periodically "check
in" the changes, and push it to my repository. On the rest of the
computers, I pull down the changes from time-to-time, so everything is

It could be of a concern to have your key on multiple installations, so
hopefully your passphrase is rock-solid, and loaded with entropy. Just in
case, every computer my key is on, is installed on an encrypted filesystem,
with a different rock-solid passphrase.

Anyway, I've found using a VCS for managing updates to my keys the best way
to go. Even if the public/private GPG keyrings are binaries, it works well,
and I don't have to worry about which keyring has the latest updates to
copy over.

. o .   o . o   . . o   o . .   . o .
. . o   . o o   o . o   . o o   . . o
o o o   . o .   . o o   o o .   o o o
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