KGpg is an important component of the encryption infrastructure on your system. With the help of this program, generate and manage all needed keys. Use its editor function for the quick creation and encryption of files or use the applet in your panel to encrypt or decrypt by dragging and dropping. Other programs, such as your mail program (Kontact or Evolution), access the key data to process signed or encrypted contents. This chapter covers the basic functions needed for daily work with encrypted files.
To be able to exchange encrypted messages with other users, first generate your own key pair. One part of it—the public key—is distributed to your communication partners, who can use it to encrypt the files or e-mail messages they send. The other part of the key pair—the private key—is used to decrypt the encrypted contents.
|Private Key versus Public Key|
The public key is intended for the public and should be distributed to all your communication partners. However, only you should have access to the private key. Do not grant other users access to this data.
Start KGpg from the main menu by selecting + or enter kgpg on the command line. When you start the program for the first time, an assistant appears to guide you through the configuration. Follow the instructions up to the point where you are prompted to create a key. Enter a name, an e-mail address, and, optionally, a comment. If you do not like the default settings provided, also set the expiration time for the key, the key size, and the encryption algorithm used. See Figure 13.1, “KGpg: Creating a Key” (↑Applications).
When you start kgpg in later sessions, only a small icon with a padlock appears in the system tray. Click that icon to display the main kgpg window on your desktop.