2 minute reading time
GPG keys have a variety of different uses from sending encrypted emails to verifying git commits. Here I’ll show how easy it is to create a public/private key-pair. Assuming you have the
gpg client installed.
Type the following command
This will then show
gpg (GnuPG) 2.2.12; Copyright (C) 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law. Please select what kind of key you want: (1) RSA and RSA (default) (2) DSA and Elgamal (3) DSA (sign only) (4) RSA (sign only) Your selection? 1
I selected the default option.
RSA keys may be between 1024 and 4096 bits long. What keysize do you want? (3072) 4096 Requested keysize is 4096 bits
I went for the highest available option.
Please specify how long the key should be valid. 0 = key does not expire <n> = key expires in n days <n>w = key expires in n weeks <n>m = key expires in n months <n>y = key expires in n years Key is valid for? (0) 1y
It’s highly recommended that you set an expiration date. I usually set it for around 1-3 years.
Key expires at Mon 11 Apr 2021 06:42:01 PM EDT Is this correct? (y/N) y
Quick sanity check.
GnuPG needs to construct a user ID to identify your key. Real name: Brandon Rozek Email address: Comment: Git
All the fields are optional. Fill them in as you wish.
You selected this USER-ID: "Brandon Rozek (Git)" Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? O
More sanity checks.
We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It is a good idea to perform some other action (type on the keyboard, move the mouse, utilize the disks) during the prime generation; this gives the random number generator a better chance to gain enough entropy.
Do as it says, start going crazy.
gpg: key IFMWDHXYSKTICHSE marked as ultimately trusted public and secret key created and signed. pub rsa4096 2020-04-11 [SC] [expires: 2021-04-11] FDMGHVYEIWPDKVT83ICUZOEKSLFIVYQALKZMNTYR uid Brandon Rozek (Git) sub rsa4096 2020-04-11 [E] [expires: 2021-04-11]
Congratulations, you now have a GPG key set.