Moving GPG Keys Privately

4 minute read Updated

How to privately move your GPG keys from one machine to another.

If you’re a software developer working ethically you’re almost certainly using GnuPG to sign your work. And if you’ve been at it for any length of time you’ve almost certainly been forced to switch machines. Unless your aim is to create a new identity for each machine you use you need a simple, repeatable strategy moving GPG keys privately. Let me show you how.

External Backup Drive Encryption

14 minute read Enclosure Published

How to create secure external backups with LUKS, Borg and BLAKE2.

A friend in Bali handed me a 1 terabyte external SATA drive recently and that’s great because the device is an integral part of a 3-2-1 backup strategy I’m adopting after Apple Care suggested I make a full backup of my 15" MacBook Pro.

The principle is simple:

3 copies, 2 different types of storage (physical and in the cloud for example) and one copy being physically separated from the others

Emanuele M. Monterosso

Of the 3 copies I needed 2 are complete. One copy is stored on MicroSD and kept with me. The other encrypted in the cloud on a Scaleway server in France. The last copy is going on the external SATA drive given to me last week which would be cool to put in a time capsule.

In this post I will show you how to securely store your backup data with two layers of encryption on an external drive or disk. After securing the disk we will start to automate the creation of space-efficient backups. Tools we’ll be using include GNU Parted, DMCrypt, a device-mapper crypto target, and Borgmatic to automate our backups in a expressive way.

Borg Backups with MinIO and Scaleway

8 minute read Updated

How to create encrypted system backups using S3-compatible object storage.

After switching from macOS to Manjaro on my MacBook Pro I was in need of a truly encrypted back-up solution. After considering a host of backup tools, including Restic, I opted for a less mainstream tool which supports blake2 encryption, gives you your private key, and, as an added bonus, churns out the smallest backups possible for use in cloud storage scenarios: BorgBackup.

In this post I’ll cover how to migrate encrypted Borg backups from any system which can run MinIO to a cloud services provider offering 500GB object storage for less than 6€ per month: Scaleway – a service brought to my attention by a friend and fellow After Dark user named Teo.

Read on to learn how to create Borg backups with MinIO and Scaleway.

How to Backup & Restore macOS Mojave

17 minute read Enclosure Updated

If there's one thing computers do well, it's malfunction. Plan ahead so you don't lose data should your Mac start behaving more like a computer.

Last month, while download Mojave patches for at least two zero-day exploits a malfunction occurred and I couldn’t upgrade, leaving my machine vulnerable:

During a 10 minute chat with Apple Care it was suggested I back-up and restore Mojave. The resolution wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for. But not a big deal as I hadn’t created a backup in 3 years and it was about that time.

iTunes Fix for Manually Moving Files

4 minute read Published

How to fix the errors iTunes shows when its unable to locate files.

iTunes users opting not to allow the program to automatically keep their folders organized (the default setting) may be well aware that iTunes does not respond well after changing locations of or renaming files. In fact, any change in the file name or path renders the item inaccessible from within iTunes, almost as if your iTunes library disappeared. To make matters worse, there’s no easy way to have iTunes relocate files moved. iTunes prompts the user to relocate missing files but only one at a time with a dialog that says:

The [type] [name] could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?

Not so useful when a lot of files are moved at once. But if a directory containing hundreds of files needs to be moved, to a larger hard drive for example, locating files individually becomes too much work.