I uninstalled GnuPG to re-instal it without Mail. I had to delete it rather than work out if there is a way to stop it from trying to sign my email as I had to send the email quickly! I now am going to install GPG Suit again and customise the email out of it but I want to know what happens with the current ~/.gpg folder. Do I delete it myself and a new one will be built when the program is installed or do things just get mashed on top without any adverse affect? Thank you.


Be sure you don't have keys stored in the .gpg folder that aren't saved elsewhere, and you will be fine deleting the folder.

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  • Oh, that's great. Can you please tell me, 1. How do you know that, i.e. is this general system administration knowledge, and 2. I did gpg --import-ownertrust otrust.txt while in Desktop directory, so I do have keys saved elsewhere. So now I understand I can delete the .gpg folder but I have another question: When I save keys elsewhere, does this not create a trace on the system? How do I ensure that this sensitive file that is now on the Desktop is never read by anyone else? Thank you. – user87589 Oct 19 '15 at 16:11
  • @user137810 This is just general sysadmin knowledge. The .gpg folder is used primarily to store GPG's configuration data. If you're uninstalling, it will probably be left behind. What happens when you reinstall will depend on how you do it, but most package managers will leave the old config intact while writing a default config in a, for example, config.new file. Best bet for a fresh start with the new install is to wipe out the old config before reinstall. – Scott Johnson Oct 19 '15 at 16:16
  • Great! Do you know why I have two files, pubring.gpg and pubring.gpg~, in .gpg folder-- what is the difference between them? I am deleting .gpg folder anyway as we determined but I am just curious please. And what is random_seed file in there too-- I am reading PGP & GPG book so if it's in there and it's too long to explain, don't worry! Thank you. – user87589 Oct 19 '15 at 16:22
  • Files with a ~ at the end of their names are typically backups created by text editors. According to the GPG manual, the random_seed file is "used to preserve the state of the internal random pool". – Scott Johnson Oct 19 '15 at 16:27
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    @user137810 - if you are happy with the answer you may wish to accept it (by selecting the checkmark) and/or upvote it. – Neil Smithline Oct 19 '15 at 21:44

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