Tails includes a custom applet, called OpenPGP Applet, to manipulate text using OpenPGP.

It is unsafe to write confidential text in a web browser since JavaScript attacks can access it from inside the browser. You should rather write your text in a separate application, encrypt it using OpenPGP Applet, and paste the encrypted text in your browser, before sending it by email for example.

When using OpenPGP Applet to encrypt emails, non-ASCII characters (for example non-Latin characters or characters with accents) might not display correctly to the recipients of the email.

If you are going to encrypt emails often, we recommend you to set up Thunderbird instead.

OpenPGP Applet is located in the notification area.

With OpenPGP Applet you can:

If you have GnuPG keys stored in your Persistent Storage since before Tails 4.1 (December 2019), you should update your OpenPGP keyserver configuration to use safe keyservers.

Managing your OpenPGP keys

You can manage your OpenPGP keys using the Passwords and Keys utility, also called Seahorse.

To open the Passwords and Keys utility, you can either:

  • Click on OpenPGP Applet and choose Manage Keys.

  • Choose Applications ▸ Utilities ▸ Passwords and Keys.

To list the public OpenPGP keys in your keyring:

  1. Choose GnuPG keys in the sidebar of the Passwords and Keys utility.

Importing new OpenPGP public keys

Importing OpenPGP public keys using the Passwords and Keys utility is broken since Tails 4.0 (October 2019). (#17183)

Do so on the command line instead:

  1. Download the OpenPGP public key that you want to import.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ System Tools ▸ Terminal to open a Terminal.

  3. Execute the following command to import the OpenPGP public key that you downloaded. Replace:

    • openpgp-public-key.asc with the path to the OpenPGP public key.

      If you are unsure about the path to the OpenPGP public key, you can insert the correct path by dragging and dropping the OpenPGP public key from the Files browser onto the Terminal.

    gpg --import openpgp-public-key.asc

    You should get something like this:

    gpg --import '/home/amnesia/Tor Browser/0x1DCBDC01B44427C7.asc'

    The output of this command should look like this:

    gpg: key 0x1DCBDC01B44427C7: public key "Robert J. Hansen rjh@sixdemonbag.org" imported
    gpg: Total number processed: 1
    gpg:               imported: 1
  4. The imported OpenPGP public key does not appear in the Passwords and Keys utility. But, the key should appear in the list of keys available for encryption when encrypting text with a public key using OpenPGP Applet.