An Introduction to GNU Privacy Guard (2 of 2)

    Date26 Sep 2002
    3751
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    In the first half of this article we discussed the various uses that GNU Privacy Guard could bring to your business or personal life in enhancing security of your digital documents and files, as well as the basics in getting started . . . In the first half of this article we discussed the various uses that GNU Privacy Guard could bring to your business or personal life in enhancing security of your digital documents and files, as well as the basics in getting started with GnuPG. As there is so much more to public-key security than command-line operations, in this second half I will continue with importing and exporting keys, building (and keeping) your 'web of trust' sound, and a few of the more popular GUI front ends available for GnuPG.

    As you've seen, the concept behind GnuPG and public-key security deals with keys, and keyrings. When you created your first pair of keys, you also created your first keyrings. If you take a look in your home directory, you'll find a hidden directory created for the GnuPG files (~/.gnupg). Within this directory there will be two keyring files, pubring.gpg and secring.gpg. The pubring.gpg file is your public keyring, and secring.gpg is your secret, or private, keyring.

    Your secret keyring, containing only the one or two secret keys you create will remain small, however the public keyring will grow as you collect and add more public keys to it. Your secret keyring should be stringently protected at all costs, but your public keys, and keyrings if desired, can be shared.

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