I know that GnuPG is all about security, thus it's not giving many chance of retrieve private keys (otherwise anyone could do it) but I've got a private key, and my own rev.asc file.

I had to reinstall my Ubuntu box (former Ubuntu Studio) and I have backup of /home and /etc.

Is it possible to recover my GnuPG key instead of revoke it and create another one?


By default, GPG stores everything under the .gnupg directory in your home directory. (Your encrypted private key should be in ~/.gnupg/secring.gpg).

Restoring the entire ~/.gnupg directory from your backup will do the trick.

  • Thanks! Sadly, something must have gone wrong, because I cannot find my ~/.gnupg directory in the backup...probably I lost it before (or during) the disaster that lead me to the reinstall. – dag729 Oct 21 '10 at 12:24
  • @dag729: just in case you don't know this - ls will consider files and folders starting with a dot to be invisible. Use ls -a to show everything in the backup of your home directory. – Wim Coenen Oct 21 '10 at 12:28

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