So I'm just trying to sign my LibreOffice documents digitally. I have generated my GPG key in a Debian WSL terminal using the gpg command line. Yet when I access my LibreOffice documents, File → Digital Signatures → Digital Signatures → Sign Documents, the key generated isn't available (none is shown).

I also tried to import the key from the WSL to Windows with Kleopatra but when I click on Import… and try to import the trustdb.gpg file located in /home/UserName/.gnupg/, it doesn't import anything at all (imported : 0).

Maybe there is something I misunderstood. I'd like to know if it's possible to import a GPG key from WSL to be used in Windows directly or to use it directly from the WSL, it doesn't really matter.

  • 2
    trustdb doesn't contain keys, only metadata about (some) keys. GPG keeps other people's keys in pubring, but you can't sign using other people's keys because you are you and not someone else. Older versions of GPG kept your own ('secret' or 'private' keys) in secring, but depending on what distro and other packages you are using usually they are now stored in a form that cannot be directly imported. Instead first export them using gpg [--armor] --export-secret-keys [ids...] to create an export file, and then import that. Dec 29, 2020 at 0:37
  • So it really was something I misunderstood… Thank you, it worked. I'll make an answer and mark it solved.
    – Nicryc
    Dec 29, 2020 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


Thanks to dave_thompson_085 comment, I exported my key [private.pgp] from WSL, imported it into Kleopatra, and I was able to sign my LibreOffice documents:

gpg --output private.pgp --export-secret-key [email protected]

I have a quite hacky solution (but it works), if you're on WSL1 and have Gpg4Win installed (given you've already got Kleopatra): leverage symbolic links.

In WSL, run ln -s /mnt/c/Users/(You)/.gnupg ~/.gnupg.

Then create or import keys to your WSL environment as you would normally do.

Therefore WSL should share the same GPG profile as in your Windows environment.

  • This is not a good idea due to how ACLs are processed between Windows and WSL - just as with SSH keys, GPG keys must remain private and they will not be when linked across the two OS architectures (e.g. WSL uses UGO, Windows uses ACLs and neither are compatible with the other), which creates a security risk when dealing with private keys. The correct way to do what you're suggesting would be to copy the WSL ~/.gnupg directory to %UserProfile%
    – JW0914
    Dec 29, 2020 at 14:12

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