How To Encrypt A File In Linux?

How To Encrypt A File In Linux?

Follow the guidelines on how to encrypt a file in Linux

The need to encrypt a file arises when you are worried about the security of the file. The Linux operating system, which is usually considered to be secure, has many tools to encrypt files. The method to encrypt a file in Linux using Gpg is given here.

Encrypt a file using gpg:

GnuPrivacy Guard (gpg) is an encryption software in Linux. When encrypted using gpg, only the receiver will be able to decrypt the file. The gpg software makes use of a public key and a private key for encryption and decryption. Before encrypting a file, make sure you have generated your key, and have the public key of the receiver. The steps for this complete process are given below.

First Step : Generate your key

  • Step 1: Open the Terminal window on your Linux computer.
  • Step 2: Type the command 'gpg --full-generate-key' without quotes. The --full-generate-key entity will generate a key.
  • Step 3: The terminal will prompt you to select the encryption type. It is always recommended to select the RSA and RSA (default) option. So, enter 1 and press the Enter key.
  • Step 4: Then, enter the key size and press Enter.
  • Step 5: Select the time duration for your key to exist.
  • Step 6: When prompted, enter your name and email address, to be associated with your key.
  • Step 7: A window will open where you have to enter a password for your keys. Type the password again and press OK.
  • Step 8: Now, your public key will be generated, and you will be directed back to your terminal window.

Second Step : Import the receivers public key

  • Step 1: To encrypt a file and send it to someone else, you need the receivers public key. Only then will the receiver be able to decrypt your file.
  • Step 2: gpg --import file_name.key is the command to import the receivers key file. Here file_name.key is the name of the file in which the receiver has shared the public key.

Third Step : Sign the receiver's key

  • Step 1: Make use of the --sign-key option to sign the receiver's key. The --sign-key option must be followed by the email address of the receiver so that gpg will sign the key associated with that email address.
  • Step 2: The command for this is as follows:
  • Step 3: gpg --sign-key receiver_email_address.

Fourth Step : Share your key

You can share your public key in a file and have to export it to the gpg key store. Use the following Linux command. gpg --output file_name.key --armor --export your_email_address

Fifth Step : Encrypt a file

  • Step 1: The final step is to encrypt your file before sending it.
  • Step 2: The option to encrypt a file in Linux is --encrypt.
  • Step 3: The command format is: gpg --encrypt --sign --armor -r receiver_email_address file_name
  • Step 4: Now, you can send the file, and the receiver can decrypt it using the gpg --decrypt file_name command. If you still have a query on how to encrypt a file in linux, click the call button available on the screen.

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