In my home directory there is a file called -. Seeing inside it was hard, but I finally managed to do it.

At the top was this:


followed by a bunch of characters. Then at the end was


I don't have pgp or gpgp installed. And another strange thing is that the date of the file is from last year, way before I installed this OS!

What could be happening here!?

  • If it wasn't from before you installed, I'd say you saved it yourself. Typos happen; it isn't hard to type, say, Ctrl+v instead of Shift+v when entering a filename in a hurry. But that isn't it, obviously. Tell me, who is the owner of the file? And the group? – Mr Lister Aug 11 '12 at 6:59
  • An old date is not a strange thing. Dates can be preserved when copying or extracting files. – scai Aug 11 '12 at 7:06
  • @awakeFromNib - are you using keychain by any chance? I had files like this appearing as a result of a minor misconfiguration. As Mr Lister said, it'd help to know the file's owner and group. – D_Bye Aug 11 '12 at 7:18
  • The owner and group are me. I am not using keychain, but I am using other ssh tools. – PROXY NINJA Aug 11 '12 at 13:14
  • Just because you don't understand what a file is doesn't make it a security concern. This is a file you downloaded once, probably making a typo that caused you to think you hadn't succeeded to download the file whereas it was actually there with this strange name. – Gilles Aug 11 '12 at 14:59

It is created as a temporary file for adding GPG keys for new repositories.

I could not find an example, but from memory it does something like this:

wget "http://web.site/repo/path/to/public/key.gpg" -O - && gpg-add-key --ignore-keyring -i -

The - before the && and the last character referring to the file's name. It is perfectly fine to delete, as it was created as a spot to put it, when you (may have) copied and pasted a set of commands to add a repository.

  • 3
    That won't download key.gpg to a file called "-", but download it and print its contents on stoud, like it says in the man page of wget. – Wieland Aug 11 '12 at 15:50
  • Just tested it, and it is true. However, I have seen sets of commands that do what the above is trying to recreate, as I cannot find an example now. – NRoach44 Aug 12 '12 at 1:50

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