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GnuPG keys on USB

This is a reasonably simple process. Most of the process can be found in this Enigmail forum discussion.

  1. Move the GnuPG keys to a USB drive. (For the purpose of this discussion, I will assume that the USB drive is X: and the directory on the drive is .gnupg.)
  2. On the computer (not on the USB drive), change gpg.conf to include these directives:
    keyring X:\.gnupg\pubring.gpg
    primary-keyring X:\.gnupg\pubring.gpg
    secret-keyring X:\.gnupg\secring.gpg
    trustdb-name X:\.gnupg\trustdb.gpg

    Under Mac OS X, assuming a volume name of USB drive, you would add:

    keyring /Volumes/USB drive/.gnupg/pubring.gpg
    primary-keyring /Volumes/USB drive/.gnupg/pubring.gpg
    secret-keyring /Volumes/USB drive/.gnupg/secring.gpg
    trustdb-name /Volumes/USB drive/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg

    For Linux, it should be the same as for OS X but /Volumes/USB drive would be replaced by the mount point used for the drive.

  3. And that's it.

If you want to use an encrypted partition or filestore, e.g. through TrueCrypt, the above instructions are still valid. However, you would point it to wherever you have TrueCrypt mount the encrypted partition or filestore.


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