How-To Guides

This section outlines a few of the typical workflows which can be achieved with age. For further information on the different subcommands, see Command Line Interface (CLI) or call age with the --help option.

Generate a Key Pair

New age private keys can be generated with the age generate subcommand. By default the key is printed to the standard output stream, but it can also directly by stored in a file.

$ pyage generate >> ~/.config/age/keys.txt

$ cat ~/.config/age/keys.txt
# created: 2020-02-10T13:34:27
# age1luj4yjndx48me58dalx200cs65qg9jhtcehjylnp8h9e2c9gduqqq8kduu

Encrypt to a Public Key

Public keys of recipients must be provided in the age encrypt command. The simplest use case is to encrypt to an age public key starting with age1.

$ echo "_o/" | pyage encrypt -o hello.age age1luj4yjndx48me58dalx200cs65qg9jhtcehjylnp8h9e2c9gduqqq8kduu

Decrypt Using a Private Key

age will try private keys from several locations during decryption (see Decryption). The following example works because the private key is stored at ~/.config/age/keys.txt (see Generate a Key Pair).

$ pyage decrypt -i hello.age

Encrypt Using a Password

Besides asymmetric cryptography, age can also encrypt to a password. The same password is then required in order to decrypt the file. This can be seen in the following example. Note that during the password prompt, entered characters are not echoed to the terminal.

$ echo 'Hello Password!' | pyage encrypt -p -o hello_password.age
Type passphrase:

$ pyage decrypt -p -i hello_password.age
Type passphrase:
Hello Password!

Encrypt to a List of Recipients

Instead of providing a public key directly, age can read recipients from a file or an URL. Note that in this case, aliases are not further expanded.

$ echo 'Hello file!' | pyage encrypt -o hello_recipients.age recipients.txt
$ echo 'Hello URL!'  | pyage encrypt -o hello_recipients.age

Encrypt to a GitHub User

GitHub serves the SSH public keys configured in your profile at the url age can automatically read the keys at this URL if provided with the recipient github:USERNAME.

In the following example, decryption works because the corresponding private key is stored in at ~/.ssh/id_rsa.

$ echo 'Hello GitHub!' | pyage encrypt -o hello_github.age github:jojonas

$ pyage decrypt -i hello_github.age
Hello GitHub!

Use Aliases

Aliases can be configured in the file ~/.config/age/aliases.txt. The file contains one alias per line. The line must start with the alias label followed by a colon. After the colon, multiple keys, files, URLs or GitHub usernames can be specified, separated by a space character.

$ cat ~/.config/age/aliases.txt
filippo: age1luj4yjndx48me58dalx200cs65qnotarealkeyjylnp8h9e2c9gduqqq8kduu
ben: age1luj4yjndx48me58dalx200cs65qnotarealkeyjylnp8h9e2c9gduqqq8kduu github:Benjojo
jonas: age1luj4yjndx48me58dalx200cs65qg9jhtcehjylnp8h9e2c9gduqqq8kduu github:jojonas

$ echo 'Hello Alias!' | pyage encrypt -o hello_alias.age jonas