pgp create keys using gpa

Today we ll start the journey to using pgp.  To get started you will need a keypair of pgp keys. This is a private key ( which you should never share with anybody else ) and a public key which you can post anywhere in the world. The public key can be added to documents/files to verify that you “signed” them. So lets dig into our topic: pgp create keys using gpa.

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a data encryption and decryption computer program that provides cryptographic privacy and authentication for data communication. PGP is often used for signing, encrypting, and decrypting texts, e-mails, files, directories, and whole disk partitions and to increase the security of e-mail communications. It was created by Phil Zimmermann in 1991.

If you want to understand the basics behind the key exchanges used take a look at this video, it explains the process well using colors.

Similar to creating ssh keys you will need a keypair in order to use pgp. Creating a keypair can be easy. In this example I ll be using Linux Kali 2.0. I encountered a few problems along the way so here is how you fix them.

1.) Install Dependencies

PGA - install dependencies

sudo apt-get install -y gpa gnupg2

2.) Start GPA

When starting gpa the first time on debian/kali. We get an error message, this is a debian related bug – a solution can be found quickly though.

GPA starts with an error message

3.) Fix that problem and start again

In order to fix the bug from the last step we simply remove a pem file and wipe our .gnupgp folder. We then shutdown pga and start it again. Of course if you already use pgp keys be careful because deleting that folder will delete your local pgp keys. This may be a good moment to point out that it is very important to have a backup of your pgp keys in case of a zombie apocalypse or theft/damage of your computer.

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/gnupg2/com-certs.pem

sudo rm -rf /home/loeken/.gnupgp/



Now click on Generate Key now. This will create a new keypair for you. You only have to fillout the next few forms:

4.) pgp create keys with GNU Privacy Assistant





5.) Keypair created


Enjoy your newly 2048 bit keypair

You can also see the fingerprint, this is used to validate that me is me!

6.) Alternatives

You can go to and generate your keys on this website. The website uses a javascript that runs on your computer, thus it is creating the pgp keys locally and does not get a copy of the keys.

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