Generating GPG keys

GPG key


GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) It's a method used for encrypting and decrypting digital files and communications over the internet.


The following document will outline how to generate one to be used for encryption of backups(duplicity) or any other use.


Ensure you have gpg installed in your machine and its version 2.1.17 or greater

1 gpg --version

if you not you can install it using the below on ubuntu but for other distros kindly download from

1 sudo apt install gnupg

Generate GPG key

1 gpg --full-generate-key
  1. On the menu prompt select the default RSA and RSA (default) unless there are other explicit requirements.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Please select what kind of key you want: (1) RSA and RSA (default) (2) DSA and Elgamal (3) DSA (sign only) (4) RSA (sign only) (14) Existing key from card Your selection? 1
  1. What keysize do you want? Enter the desired or use default

  2. Select key expiry period. Choose the desired or use default.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Please specify how long the key should be valid. 0 = key does not expire <n> = key expires in n days <n>w = key expires in n weeks <n>m = key expires in n months <n>y = key expires in n years Key is valid for? (0)
  1. Confirm your choices and press enter.

1 Is this correct? (y/N) y
  1. The prompt will require you to enter the identity for your key. Enter any name must be at least 5 characters long.

1 2 3 GnuPG needs to construct a user ID to identify your key. Real name: duplicity
  1. Then enter your email address on the next prompt then enter

  2. Then enter a comment on the next prompt then enter

  3. Finally, confirm all your entries.

1 Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? O
  1. You'll be presented with a password dialog, enter a secure password.

Export public key (-pub.key)

  1. List the keys

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 gpg --list-keys --keyid-format SHORT /home/morty/.gnupg/pubring.kbx ----------------------------- pub rsa2048/1F660965 2021-05-11 [SC] 3775D234D1729924919064E33B10AA311F660965 uid [ultimate] duplicity sub rsa2048/78876A7A 2021-05-11 [E]

NOTE: Key-ID can be in SHORT (8 last digits) or LONG (16 last digits) for the example above SHORT 1F660965, LONG 3B10AA311F660965 and then the fingerprint 3775D234D1729924919064E33B10AA311F660965

  1. Export public key

1 gpg --armor --output 1F660965-pub.key --export 1F660965

Export private keys (-priv.key)

  1. List the keys

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 gpg --list-secret-keys --keyid-format SHORT /home/morty/.gnupg/pubring.kbx ----------------------------- sec rsa2048/1F660965 2021-05-11 [SC] 3775D234D1729924919064E33B10AA311F660965 uid [ultimate] duplicity ssb rsa2048/78876A7A 2021-05-11 [E]
  1. Export the secret key

1 gpg --armor --output 1F660965-priv.key --export-secret-keys 1F660965

Export ultimate keys (

1 gpg --export-ownertrust

Pick the fingerprint of your key-id from the list

1 2 3 4 5 6826D25B796311C5B124B2F4600AD683013E97CA:6: 3775D234D1729924919064E33B10AA311F660965:6: here!! 940358D7E31AB2F3020B3E3713BDD534C84AD974:6: echo "3775D234D1729924919064E33B10AA311F660965:6:" >


Import the key

1 2 3 gpg --import 1F660965-priv.key gpg --import 1F660965-pub.key gpg --import-ownertrust

Delete the key

1 2 gpg --delete-secret-keys 1F660965-priv.key gpg --delete-keys 1F660965-pub.key