Generating a Key Pair

Following is an example of the sequence necessary for generating a key pair in GPG:

$ gpg --gen-key
pg (GnuPG) 1.2.1; Copyright (C) 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.

There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

gpg: keyring '/home/james/.gnupg/secring.gpg' created
gpg: keyring '/home/james/.gnupg/pubring.gpg' created
Please select what kind of key you want:
   (1) DSA and ElGamal (default)
   (2) DSA (sign only)
   (5) RSA (sign only)
Your selection? 5
What keysize do you want? (1024) 2048
Requested keysize is 2048 bits
Please specify how long the key should be valid.
         0 = key does not expire
      <n>  = key expires in n days
      <n>w = key expires in n weeks
      <n>m = key expires in n months
      <n>y = key expires in n years
Key is valid for? (0) 3y
Key expires at Fri Sep 18 00:23:00 2009 CET
Is this correct (y/n)? y

You need a User-ID to identify your key; the software constructs the user id
from Real Name, Comment and Email Address in this form:
    "James Stanger (James Stanger) <>"
Real name: James Stanger
Email address:
Comment: <nothing>
You selected this USER-ID:
    "James Stanger <>"
Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? o
You need a Passphrase to protect your secret key.
Enter passphrase: <passphrase>
Repeat passphrase: <passphrase> We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It ...

Get LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.