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8.11 Encrypt or sign files into an archive

gpg-zip encrypts or signs files into an archive. It is an gpg-ized tar using the same format as used by PGP’s PGP Zip.

gpg-zip is invoked this way:

gpg-zip [options] filename1 [filename2, ...] directory [directory2, ...]

gpg-zip understands these options:


Encrypt data. This option may be combined with --symmetric (for output that may be decrypted via a secret key or a passphrase).


Decrypt data.


Encrypt with a symmetric cipher using a passphrase. The default symmetric cipher used is CAST5, but may be chosen with the --cipher-algo option to gpg.


Make a signature. See gpg.

--recipient user
-r user

Encrypt for user id user. See gpg.

--local-user user
-u user

Use user as the key to sign with. See gpg.


List the contents of the specified archive.

--output file
-o file

Write output to specified file file.

--gpg gpgcmd

Use the specified command gpgcmd instead of gpg.

--gpg-args args

Pass the specified options to gpg.

--tar tarcmd

Use the specified command tarcmd instead of tar.

--tar-args args

Pass the specified options to tar.


Print version of the program and exit.


Display a brief help page and exit.

The program returns 0 if everything was fine, 1 otherwise.

Some examples:

Encrypt the contents of directory mydocs for user Bob to file test1:

gpg-zip --encrypt --output test1 --gpg-args  -r Bob mydocs

List the contents of archive test1:

gpg-zip --list-archive test1

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