We look at “Minisign – A dead simple tool to sign files and verify signatures." You can use Minisign as an alternative to GnuPG for signing and verifying files.
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Minisign uses Ed25519 for cryptographic signing and verification. Several projects like the very popular crypto libraries libsodium or dnscrypt-proxy use Minisign to sign their releases. There are also libraries and implementations in Golang (go-minisign) and Rust (rsign2) available. The current version of Minisign is 0.8, released in February 2018.
After downloading and installing Minisign on your platform, you enter minisign -G to create a key pair. On Linux, the private, password-protected key is stored in “~/.minisign/minisign.key” and the public key in “~/minisign.pub.” We suggest using a password manager to store your password.
The contents of cat minisign.pub look like:
untrusted comment: current minisign public key of InfoSec Handbook RWTobCZNZpK7QlEBFPj+eGxRxUrsF/wW+Rrm/XOL+RXaC1C6ZLplTsVL
The first line is an “untrusted” comment. “Untrusted” means that it isn’t signed and can be changed. The second line is the Base64 encoded public key.
After creating a key pair, the workflow is similar to tools like GnuPG: You publish your public key “minisign.pub” and use your local private key “minisign.key” to sign files.
To sign files, just enter: minisign -Sm [file-to-sign]. After entering the password for the private key, a second file is created, named “[file-to-sign].minisig.” Another person can verify the file’s signature by entering: minisign -Vm [file-to-verify] -p minisign.pub. “[file-to-verify].minisig” must be in the same folder.
Furthermore, you can add “trusted” comments. Trusted comments are signed. Enter minisign -Sm [file-to-sign] -t '[a-trusted-comment]'.
The result looks like:
untrusted comment: signature from minisign secret key RWTobCZNZpK7QnVLb7KjgV0QB+MaYemn/rjDMwIJUcnUyYwHqgCq5JQqwDDEbOAuk2f8WqDpQsYF15ZVgISJcC+NLPaD/WDG4wc= trusted comment: a trusted comment by InfoSec Handbook JTbwBH2GAtnYBbGq484em05IF9/PLY97mhsdqWSUbZP8UYOHDn0YZGKdQNImBHcyHwhKkQrW5kgsio1ixLltAw==
Rename your “minisign.pub” and “minisign.key” files if you need numerous key pairs.
Minisign is a modern tool that allows you to sign and verify files. Besides, you can verify Minisign’s signatures using OpenBSD’s Signify tool. The public keys and signatures are compatible.