GnuPG / GPG / OpenPGP



brew install gnupg

Linux: Debian/Ubuntu (should be already installed)

sudo apt install gnupg


Download and install Gpg4win package (containes Kleopatra)

Kleopatra is a certificate manager and a universal crypto GUI. It supports managing X.509 and OpenPGP certificates in the GpgSM keybox and retrieving certificates from LDAP servers.

Configuration files

touch ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf
touch ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf

Configuration files are in this repo: .gnupg/

Cookbook for creating new key from scratch

Introduction. What we want to achieve

# [C] - Certify
# [S] - Sign
# [A] - Authenticate
# [E] - Encrypt

# List public keys
felixd@192:~$ gpg -k

pub   nistp521/0x9CC77B3A8866A558 2021-03-19 [C] # <-- [C] - Certify
      Key fingerprint = E0F9 4FE7 93B7 1D7E C147  5ECD 9CC7 7B3A 8866 A558
uid                   [ultimate] Paweł Wojciechowski <>
uid                   [ultimate] Paweł Wojciechowski <>
sub   nistp521/0x784E7C68559BA960 2021-03-19 [S] [expires: 2023-03-19]
sub   nistp521/0x5F7748EAAA46D8A4 2021-03-19 [E] [expires: 2023-03-19]
sub   nistp521/0x07AD11F0AE1DAAF2 2021-03-19 [A] [expires: 2023-03-19]

# List secure keys
felixd@192:~$ gpg -K

sec#  nistp521/0x9CC77B3A8866A558 2021-03-19 [C]
      Key fingerprint = E0F9 4FE7 93B7 1D7E C147  5ECD 9CC7 7B3A 8866 A558
uid                   [ultimate] Paweł Wojciechowski <>
uid                   [ultimate] Paweł Wojciechowski <>
ssb   nistp521/0x784E7C68559BA960 2021-03-19 [S] [expires: 2023-03-19]
ssb   nistp521/0x5F7748EAAA46D8A4 2021-03-19 [E] [expires: 2023-03-19]
ssb   nistp521/0x07AD11F0AE1DAAF2 2021-03-19 [A] [expires: 2023-03-19]

I prefer Elliptic-curve cryptography. It’s faster and keys are smaller, which doesn’t mean they are weaker (check table below).

Read more about it on Wikipedia:

128 bits of entropy (2^128) is more than enought, but we are paranoic. Do not forget to check available entropy in Your system. You need to have number of entropy bits avilable equal or bigger than the key size You want to generate.

| Symmetric Key | RSA and Diffie-Hellman  | Elliptic Curve  |
| Size (bits)   |      Key Size (bits)    | Key Size (bits) |
|       80      |            1024         |       160       |
|      112      |            2048         |       224       |
|      128      |            3072         |       256       |
|      192      |            7680         |       384       |
|      256      |           15360         |       521       |
             Table 1: NIST Recommended Key Sizes

Checking entropy size and quality

cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail
rngtest -c 1000 </dev/random
dieharder -a
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/null bs=1024000 count=100 iflag=fullblock

Generating keys

To generate ECC keys use below command:

gpg --full-generate-key --expert

Please select what kind of key you want:
   (1) RSA and RSA (default)
   (9) ECC and ECC

Please select which elliptic curve you want:

If You have selected RSA and RSA:

More about Eliptic Curves

More about bits of entropy

Files size when GPG encrypts for multiple recipients

GPG encrypts the file once with a symmetric key, then places a header identifying the target keypair and an encrypted version of the symmetric key. The intricate details of that are defined in section 5.1 of RFC 2440. When encrypted to multiple recipients, this header is placed multiple times providing a uniquely encrypted version of the same symmetric key for each recipient.

Thus, file size growth for each recipient is small and roughly linear. Some variation may exist for key length and padding so it’s not predictable different for different key sizes and algorithms, but it’s small. In a quick test demonstration using no compression:

gpg --encrypt --recipient \
    --recipient doc.txt
11,676,179 source
11,676,785 encrypted-to-one (+606 bytes)
11,677,056 encrypted-to-two (+277 bytes)
11,677,329 encrypted-to-three (+273 bytes)

OpenPGP Key Servers

Below services provide option to store and to manage Your public keys:

Below services provide option to upload and store keys (no chance to manage them)

Exporting public key to Key Server

gpg --export | curl -T -

Import/Export keys [general]

felixd@192:~/ [master]$ gpg --list-keys

# Key I am interested in: 0x9CC77B3A8866A558
gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.public.asc --armor --export $KEY
gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.private.asc --armor --export-secret-key $KEY
gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.private_sub.asc --armor --export-secret-subkeys $KEY

felixd@remotehost:~$ gpg --import ${KEY}.gpg.public.asc
felixd@remotehost:~$ gpg --allow-secret-key-import --import ${KEY}.gpg.private_sub.asc

Git/SSH and GPG

git config --global commit.gpgsign true
git config --global user.signingkey 0x9CC77B3A8866A558


In case you receive error messages that GPG secret sign key is missing:

gpg: skipped "0x9CC77B3A8866A558": No secret key
gpg: signing failed: No secret key
error: gpg failed to sign the data
fatal: failed to write commit object

set in Git configuration path to GPG program:

git config --global gpg.program "C:/Program Files (x86)/gnupg/bin/gpg.exe"


GnuPG usage examples

Document signing (detached signature) by more than one person

gpg -u author -a -o --detach-sig doc.txt
gpg --verify doc.txt

gpg -u validator -a -o doc.validator.asc --detach-sig doc.txt

gpg --verify doc.txt
gpg --verify doc.validator.asc doc.txt

Multiple signatures in one ASC file


echo "This is a document." > $DOC

gpg -u $AUTHOR -a -o $DOC.$AUTHOR.asc --detach-sig $DOC
gpg -u $VALIDATOR -a -o $DOC.$VALIDATOR.asc --detach-sig $DOC

cat $DOC.*.asc > $DOC.signatures.asc

gpg --verify $DOC.signatures.asc $DOC
gpg --verify $DOC.signatures.asc $DOC
gpg: Signature made wto, 17 sty 2023, 14:03:44 CET
gpg:                using RSA key A32A6115CA696220C1644E98EB9E03D2EBC82F5A
gpg: Good signature from "Validator <>" [ultimate]
gpg: Signature made wto, 17 sty 2023, 14:03:44 CET
gpg:                using ECDSA key E0F94FE793B71D7EC1475ECD9CC77B3A8866A558
gpg: Good signature from "Author <>" [ultimate]

Mailvelope: OpenPGP on Web Mail (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) encryption/decryption/singing

To integrated GnuPG with your Web Mail clinet use Mailvelope:

gpg: public key decryption failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device

Mailvelope needs password to encode/sign mail when using GnuPG with browser.

brew install gpgme pinentry-mac
echo "pinentry-program /usr/local/bin/pinentry-mac" >> ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf
killall gpg-agent

Change key expiration date

gpg --list-keys
gpg --edit-key $KEY

Now we are inside GPG. Use the expire command to set a new expire date:

gpg> expire

When prompted type 1y or however long you want the key to last for.

Select all the subkeys (the primary key, which we just set the expires date for, is key 0):

gpg> key 1
gpg> key 2
gpg> key 3
gpg> expire

gpg> trust
gpg> save

gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.public.asc --armor --export $KEY
gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.private.asc --armor --export-secret-key $KEY
gpg --output ${KEY}.gpg.private_sub.asc --armor --export-secret-subkeys $KEY

Move the keys on to something like a USB drive and store it safely in another location.

Publish the public key:

gpg --keyserver --send-keys $KEY
gpg --keyserver --send-keys $KEY
gpg --keyserver --send-keys $KEY

Best Practices

OpenPGP/GPG tools

GPG/PGP Authentication over SSH

Yubico Key



curl | gpg --import

Donations & Support

If You would like to support this project/site:

or try our Immersion Cooling technology we develop together with FlameIT