26

What are the critical files I need to backup from gpg? I guess my private key would qualify of course... but what else?

27

The most critical are your secret/private keys:

gpg --export-secret-keys > secret-backup.gpg

secret-backup.gpg is then the file to keep safe.

Otherwise the ~/.gnupg/ directory contain all private and public keys(secring.gpg and pubring.gpg respectively) as well as configuration and trustdb which could be convenient to have stored.

  • If a public key was lost, would the private key be useless? – Buttons840 May 4 at 15:49
  • @Buttons840 The public key is a subset of the private key so you should be able to extract the public key from the private. – hultqvist May 4 at 18:21
9

The easiest way would be to grab the entire GnuPG directory - usually ~/.gnupg/, it contains all private keys you have, as well as the public keyring and other useful data (trustdb, etc.)

2

You definitely want to backup your private key and the revocation file you created.

  • where is the "revocation certificate" ? – jldupont Nov 18 '09 at 22:07
  • You need to create it (if you didn't already). It is used to revoke your key if you loose your private key. – PEra Nov 24 '09 at 18:17
0

You may also want to back up any keys you've signed or ones you don't feel like re-downloading off the key servers.

At a minimum, all you need is your complete key.

  • ...and any revocation certificates you created. – Broam Nov 18 '09 at 22:02

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