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The Ultimate Linux Password Management Guide Part 8 gnupg

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This is part 8 of a multi-part article. Part 1 is available here, part 2 is available here, part 3 is available here, part 4 is available here, part 5 is here, part 6 is available here, and part 7 is available here. Part 1 discusses the importance of complex passwords and also discusses some ways to create them in Linux. Part 2 covers the KeepassX, a program with a very nice graphical user interface. Part 3, takes a look at the gpass program which is a nice graphical user interface for the gnome desktop (will work on others too). Part 4 takes a look at the command line pwsafe. Part 5 takes a look at the command line cpm (console password manager). Part 6 takes a look at ked password manager that has both a GTK2 and cli interface. Part 7, we will take a look at gorilla password manager.

In part 8, we will take a look at using gnupg, a common application already included on most Linux distributions for managing passwords.

GnuPG allows you to encrypt and sign your data and communications. It features a versatile key management system as well as access modules for all kind of public key directories. GnuPG, also known as GPG, is a command line tool with features for easy integration with other applications. A wealth of frontend applications and libraries are available. Version 2 of GnuPG also provides support for S/MIME.

GnuPG itself is a commandline tool without any graphical stuff. It is the real crypto engine which can be used directly from a command prompt, from shell scripts or by other programs. Therefore it can be considered as a backend for other applications.
However, even when used on the command line it provides all functionality needed - this includes an interactive menu system. The set of commands of this tool will always be a superset of those provided by any frontends.

In this article, I am going to show you some tricks with using gnupg to manage passwords. Of course, you can simply create a text file and encrypt it with gnupg and then unencrypt the file in order to view your password list. However, with more than a couple of passwords, this becomes very cumbersome.

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