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[[!meta title="Backing up OpenPGP secret keys on paper using paperkey"]]

<span class="application">[Paperkey](http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/)</span> is a command
line tool to export OpenPGP secret keys in a format suitable for
printing on paper.

Paper can be destroyed easily but it also has amazingly long retention
qualities, far longer than the magnetic or optical media that are
generally used to back up computer data. So <span class="application">paperkey</span> can be useful in
combination with other backup strategies.

<div class="note">

<p>Your OpenPGP key as exported by <span
class="application">paperkey</span> is still protected by your
passphrase.</p>

</div>

To learn how to use <span class="application">paperkey</span>, read the [documentation on the
<span class="application">paperkey</span> website](http://www.jabberwocky.com/software/paperkey/).

For example, to export an OpenPGP secret key using <span class="application">paperkey</span>, execute
the following command, replacing <span class="command">[keyid]</span> with the ID of the key that
you want to export:

    gpg --export-secret-key [keyid] | paperkey | gedit