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Thread: Import personal GPG key in Seahorse

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Import personal GPG key in Seahorse

    I want to transfer a GPG key that I occasionally use to sign emails from one computer to another. Seahorse allows exporting and importing of keys, but when I try to import the key it becomes public instead of private. As a result, I can't use it to sign anything.

    How can I import the file in such a manner that the key becomes private instead of public?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Import personal GPG key in Seahorse

    I figured it out. As far as I can tell, this is not possible to do from the GUI. Instead, I had to run the following from a terminal:

    Code:
    gpg --export-secret-keys -a "<Key>" > private.key
    This exports the personal key <Key> to the file 'private.key'. This can then be moved to the target computer and imported with:
    Code:
    gpg --allow-secret-key-import --import private.key
    Now, from what I can discern from the man page for gpg, this is not really how things are supposed to be done. --export-secret-keys is said to be "not very usefull", as well as being a "security risk". --allow-secret-key-import is said to be "obsolete". Nevertheless, this works, and I haven't been able to find a better way to accomplish this. Perhaps I just don't understand how gpg keys are meant to be used.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Beans
    228
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Import personal GPG key in Seahorse

    Thanks for posting this. It was exactly what I was looking for. Worked perfectly.
    “You tried your best and failed miserably. The lesson is: never try.” --Homer Simpson

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