9.2. Generating a New Key Pair

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.

[Important]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 or press Alt-F2 and enter kgpg. 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 Abbildung 9.1.

Abbildung 9.1. KGpg: Creating a Key

KGpg: Creating a Key

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.

Confirm your settings with OK. The next dialog prompts you to enter a password twice. The relative strength of your chosen password is measured and displayed by the Password strength meter. The program generates the key pair and displays a summary. Save and print this revocation certificate right away and keep it in a save place. You will need the certificate to revoke your password if you forgot it. After you confirm with OK, KGpg displays its main window. See Abbildung 9.2, „The Key Manager“.

Abbildung 9.2. The Key Manager

The Key Manager