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Customized GPG

Gpg encryption is cool. It’s so cool, that I want to keep all my important files (that means back-up files) encrypted on my external storage.

Using gpg is fairly straight forward:

1) Generate a private key.

gpg --gen-key

After answering some standard questions, the key is ready.
Note: You better not forget the password you choose, or else your encrypted files are lost forever.

2) Check you key:

gpg --list-keys

This will display a list of all available keys.

3) Encrypt a file

gpg --encrypt --recipient 'key name' foo.txt

This will generate the encrypted file: foo.txt.gpg

4) Decrypt a file

gpg --output foo2.txt --decrypt foo.txt.gpg

foo2.txt file will be created.

So, until now I presented a quick guide to encrypt/decrypt a file. However, this wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to go a little further. I wanted to be able to encrypt folders as well, and the possibility to delete the original file, and keep only the encrypted one. So, I though I write my own function.
And so, tec was born.

In short tec stands for: tar, encrypt, clean. Long description: Tarballs and encrypts the TARGET using gpg (GnuPG) encrypton. Optionally it deletes the TARGET.

I have created a repository for my function on Gitorious, feel free to check the Projects page and download it if you like.

Just copy tec.sh into /usr/bin, and you’re good to go.

cd <download directory>
sudo cp tec.sh /usr/bin

For general help, type:

tec.sh --help

Basic usage:

# with delete option, to delete the original file, and keep the encrypted one
tec.sh -dr <key> <file>
# without delete option
tec.sh -r <key> <file>

The project is in it’s early phases. Currently it only encrypts. For decryption the standard gpg commands have to be used. I plan to maintain the function, and try to add as much functionality as I can.


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Add new application to Open With Other Application…

What if you want to add a new application in the “Open With Other Application…” section? Maybe you want to add that particular application as the default application to open certain type of files.
Here is an example of how I can add Vim as an option to open a text file. Vim will open the file in a new terminal session.

An .desktop file needs to be created in ~/.local/share/applications
So, let’s use vim for this purpose, it is just appropriate.

vim ~/.local/share/applications/vim.desktop

Press i to enter in edit mode and type in the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Edit file in Vim
Exec=vim %f
GenericName=Process Viewer

after that, press ESC to exit the edit mode and type :wq to write to the file and quit.

That’s it. Now when you right click on a file, vim will be present in the list of Open With Other Application section, and you can add it as a default application.

Thanks for this answer to Marty Fried

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