trouble generating gpg key

John Montgomery blueyonder64 at
Wed Aug 5 23:04:31 BST 2009


I assume you've already tried following the instructions on the this

Probably the easiest wait to generate a key is through Seahorse (it's
listed as "Passwords and Encryption Keys" in the "Accessories" menu),
since it uses a graphical interface rather than having to muck about in
the terminal (especially if you are new, although using the terminal
isn't very difficult either).  Just open the application and go to
"File>New>PGP Key" and follow the instructions from their to generate an
RSA or DSA key. 

Then follow the instructions for uploading the key to the keyserver on
this portion of the GPG Howto wiki page:

If you have not yet created a Launchpad account, I would suggest doing
so. Once your key is validated on Launchpad you can always now find it
on your Launchpad homepage as well. Also, make sure you install the
Firefox extension ""FireGPG". It makes signing documents on the web
(i.e. Gmail) much easier.

Important tips: 

1. Make sure and back up your keypair by either following the tips for
backing up on the wiki page, or periodically backing up your ,gnupg
and .ssh folders (which are located in your Home directory, which should
be backed up on a regular basis anyhow).

2. Make sure you also generate a revocation key at the same time you
generate the keypair in case your key is ever compromised and you have
to revoke your old key and generate a new one. 

3. DO NOT forget your keyphrase, or the keypair becomes worthless. I
cannot emphasize this strongly enough, and I know of no way to ever
recover it (perhaps someone wiser than myself does, but I haven't
discovered a way to do it yet) aside from generating a new key. If you
don't have a password manager, I would suggest installing one. I use
"Revelation" and that's where I store all of my passwords and
keyphrases. It has a backup function built into it - use it to back up
this data just like you would any other important data, I usually do
this at least once every two weeks, and store my data in an offsite
location so I don't lose it all in the event of a disaster like a fire
or earthquake. Since I'm especially paranoid, I back it up to an SD card
which I keep at my office and I also archive and password protect the
data with 7zip and back it up to an online storage account as well.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch with
me again and I will try and answer them as best I can. I also have
several IM accounts so you can reach me on Pidgin (or some other instant
messenger if you like) if I happen to be online:

MSN: virtualjohn95 at
Yahoo: blueyonder64 at
AIM: vinjohn91 at

Best of luck! - John

On Wed, 2009-08-05 at 07:03 -0700, David Kaplan wrote:

> I'm trying to generate gpg key to join the team. I followed
> instructions on Launchpad to no key is generated. How is it done? 
> Dave

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