Paperkey 1.3

David Shaw dshaw at
Fri Jan 4 18:31:14 CET 2013

On Jan 4, 2013, at 4:01 AM, Branko Majic <branko at> wrote:

> On Thu, 3 Jan 2013 23:42:07 -0500
> David Shaw <dshaw at> wrote:
>> Paperkey 1.3 is released.  This adds ECC key support (both ECDH and
>> ECDSA) as well as a few more minor tweaks.
>> Source and Win32 binaries are available at:
> Curious piece of software. Certainly not something that comes to mind
> right away for making backups.
> I wonder if you could back-up even more by using 2D bar code for an
> output?

Sure, paperkey supports piping the output into whatever code generator you like:

  gpg --export-secret-key mykey | paperkey --output-format raw | your-bar-code-generator

However, 2D bar codes have some of the problems that paperkey is intended to address.  You need a 'thing' (a process, a device, etc) to read them, and part of the point of paperkey is that it's supposed to be the backup of last resort, and thus readable by a human without any special hardware involved.

You could also back up your whole key via a 2D bar code (without using paperkey at all) but then you're backing up a lot of redundant data, giving you a larger image.  Of course, this may not be a big deal if the intent is to scan it back in again rather than type it back in again.


More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list