Import Your GnuPG Keys From Backup

Written by Arnaud Lier

GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is available by default on most GNU/Linux operating systems and is used to encrypt data with key pairs. In this tutorial, we'll learn how to export your GPG keys from a backup directory and import them in your new GnuPG installation.

Export data

First things first, export all keys from your backup folder:

gpg --homedir=backup/.gnupg/ -a --export-secret-keys > privatekeys.asc
gpg --homedir=backup/.gnupg/ --export-ownertrust > ownertrust.txt

The --homedir argument tells GPG to use another directory than the default ~/.gnupg to operate on.

Import directory

Then, to import the keys in the GnuPG installation of the currently logged-in user, issue the following commands:

gpg --import privatekeys.asc
gpg --import-ownertrust ownertrust.txt


In this tutorial, we've learned how to import then export GnuPG data from a backup directory! You may now want to setup commit signing with Git.