New to GnuPG, having some difficulty

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Sun Mar 7 03:06:47 CET 2021

> Hello gnupg-users!

Hello and welcome!

First, please only send plain text (not HTML) to the list.  Some of the 
most knowledgeable people here refuse to open HTML mails from people 
they don't know.  :)

> I have recently been required to use GnuPG to encrypt messages, and have 
> been endeavouring to create a master key however I think I have fumbled.

The best way to begin is to just run "gpg --gen-key" and use the 
defaults.  Really, the defaults are good: we picked them for good 
reasons.  The vast majority of the webpages you find about "creating the 
perfect GnuPG key!" are at least 90% whaleshit.

> Is there a safe way to delete everything and start over?

gpgconf --kill gpg-agent
gpgconf --kill scdaemon
gpgconf --kill dirmngr
rm -rf $HOME/.gnupg

Then the next time you start GnuPG you'll be starting anew.

> Also, I need to create and export a public key *and* an encryption 
> subkey.

Again, I really recommend just running --gen-key unless you have a clear 
and compelling reason otherwise.

> Thanks in advance, and I apologise if I'm asking basic questions, it's 
> not often I feel like a novice but this encryption business has me doing 
> so.

We were all newbies once.  :)

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list