KernelCI project encrypted files

The secrets directory contains encrypted files using git-crypt with credentials used by the KernelCI project. It is mostly useful to project administrators such as members of the TSC, for example to have a common place where to share passwords in a secure way. Derivative projects based on KernelCI such as private instances may reuse some of the tools and documentation provided here.

Creating a GPG key

If the user doen’t already have a GPG key, they will need to create one. It may otherwise be a good idea to create a key dedicated to using git-crypt in this repository, so it may be revoked later without any side-effects on other projects or use-cases. To generate a key:

gpg --generate-key

Answer the questions interactively, it should then show something like this:

gpg: key E7B3A05C40D8EDC3 marked as ultimately trusted

with the full public key fingerprint:

pub   rsa3072 2021-04-22 [SC] [expires: 2023-04-22]

This can be read again with gpg -K. It’s then possible to send the key to a keyserver to make it easier for others to find it and import it with just the fingerprint rather than the full public key file. Here’s how to do it with a sample keyserver and the key generated in the previous step:

gpg --send-keys \
  --keyserver hkps:// \

Note You may use an alternative key server, and your key hash will of course be different.

Adding a user’s GPG key

The next step is to add the user’s key to the repository so they can read the encrypted content. First, either get the public key file for that user and import it with gpg --import <key-file> or get it from a keyserver using the fingerprint using gpg --receive-keys <key-fingerprint>. Then gpg -K should show the key for the user locally available. To add the user, using the fingerprint from the example in the previous step:

git-crypt add-gpg-user 7802ED21096B2ED7B1D4D838E7B3A05C40D8EDC3

This will create a git commit with the public GPG key of that user. It can then be pushed as-is, or the commit message may be edited to add the name of the user to the subject and make the history easier to read.

If the key is not trusted, you can manually override this with the following command:

gpg --edit-key <key-id>
> trust
> 5
> y
> q

Then run the git-crypt add-gpg-user again and it should work this time.

Reading the encrypted files

Users with a GPG key added to the repository can then uncrypt the files using this command:

git-crypt unlock

There are filters in the .gitattributes file to select which files to encrypt and which ones to keep as plain text. Essentially, all the contents of the secrets directory in this repository are encrypted except some documentation and utility scripts such as to dump the passwords.toml file. Here’s what the file typically looks like:

url = ""
user = "user-name"
password = "password"
login_url = ""
email = ""

Making changes

If you have a GPG key set up, nothing special needs to be done to contribute to the encrypted files, Git will handle this seamlessly for you. The only thing to know is that making a pull request on GitHub is not useful as the encrypted content can’t be reviewed by definition. So just make a commit the usual way, maybe discuss it with others if needed, and then git push it. If you don’t have have access rights to do so, please email or send your patch file generated with git format-patch to someone who has access.

Last modified September 3, 2021