How To Install and Use GPG Encrytion In Linux In Order To Encrypt and Decrypt Files and Folder?
Security is important part of the today’s IT operations. There are a lot of tools which provides some part of the secure operations. GNU Privacy Guard or simply GPG is a one of them. It provides encryption, decryption, digital signatures and signing.
Install GPG To Ubuntu, Debian, Mint and Kali
For deb or apt based distributions we can install GPG with the following command for
$ sudo apt install gnupg
Install GPG To CentOS, Fedora, RHEL
yum based distributions we can install GPG with the following command.
$ sudo yum install gnupg
Create Private and Public Keys
Now we will start with creating Private and Public Keys. As we know Public Cryptography provides two keys where private key is a secret key which should be protected accordingly. Public key is as its name suggest open to everyone we want to collaborate. So we need these keys. we can create them with the
--gen-key option like below.
$ gpg --gen-key
This command will ask us some questions like below.
Real name: İsmail Baydan
Email address: email@example.com
We can list keys creted and saved in the current system with the
--fingerprint option. We should provide some search term to this option like the email address or individual name etc. In this example we will search with email address
$ gpg --fingerprint ibaydan
Register To Keyserver
In Public Key Cryptography key distribution is important. We need to provide our Public Key to the others in a open and trusted way. So Keyservers are designed to hold public keys or individuals and corporate. There are different Keyserver’s but
pgp.mit.edu is the most popular one. We will use
--keyserver option to specify key server and
--send-keys to provide fingerprint of the key we want to register.
$ gpg --keyserver gpg.mit.edu --send-keys 003D114F
Export Public Key In ASCII Format
In some cases we may want to print the key in more readable format like ASCII. This will be useful if we want to distribute our public key with email or similar ways. We will use
--armor option with
output which gets the file name we want to save and
--export the key search term.
$ gpg --armor --output pubkey.txt --export 'ibaydan'
Encrypt A File
We will use our Private Key in order to encrypt given data like a text file. We will use
--receipent which will set private key and the last one the file we want to encrypt. We can also use
--output option to specify the file name of the encrypted file.
$ gpg --encrypt --recipient 'ibaydan' --output ServerPass.txt.enc ServerPass.txt
Keep in mind that encrypted file size will be bigger than original file size.
Decrypt A File
Now if we received a file which is encrypted by our Public Keys we need to decrypt it with our Private Key. We will use
--decrypt option. We can also optionally specify the output file with
--output option like below.
$ gpg --output foo.txt --decrypt ServerPass.txt.enc
List Installed Keys
We can list existing keys with the
--list-keys option. This will provide information like path, public key algorithm, user id, etc.
$ gpg --list-keys
As we see in previous example the Keys are stored in a database format named
kbx . If we need to remove keys we should use
--delete-key with the related term like email.
$ gpg --delete-key ibaydan
Delete Key with Secret Keys
While deleting keys if there is related secret we should provide
--delete-secret-keys option too. If not we will get error like below.
gpg: there is a secret key for public key "ibaydan"!
$ gpg --delete-secret-keys 'firstname.lastname@example.org'