sq-sign - Man Page

Signs messages or data files


sq sign [Options] FILE


Signs messages or data files.

Creates signed messages or detached signatures.  Detached signatures are often used to sign software packages.

The converse operation is `sq verify`.

`sq sign` respects the reference time set by the top-level `--time` argument.  When set, it uses the specified time instead of the current time, when determining what keys are valid, and it sets the signature's creation time to the reference time instead of the current time.


Subcommand options

-B, --binary

Emits binary data

-a, --append

Appends a signature to existing signature


Creates a cleartext signature


Creates a detached signature


Merges signatures from the input and SIGNED-MESSAGE

-n, --notarize

Signs a message and all existing signatures

--notation NAME VALUE

Adds a notation to the certification.  A user-defined notation's name must be of the form `name@a.domain.you.control.org`. If the notation's name starts with a `!`, then the notation is marked as being critical.  If a consumer of a signature doesn't understand a critical notation, then it will ignore the signature.  The notation is marked as being human readable.

-o, --output=FILE

Writes to FILE or stdout if omitted


Provides parameters for private key store


Signs the message using the key in KEY_FILE


Reads from FILE or stdin if omitted

Global options


Specifies the location of the certificate store.  By default, sq uses the OpenPGP certificate directory at `$HOME/.local/share/pgp.cert.d`, and creates it if it does not exist.

-f,  --force

Overwrites existing files

-h,  --help

Print help (see a summary with '-h')


Specifies the location of a keyring to use.  Keyrings are used in addition to any certificate store.  The content of the keyring is not imported into the certificate store.  When a certificate is looked up, it is looked up in all keyrings and any certificate store, and the results are merged together.


Adds NOTATION to the list of known notations. This is used when validating signatures. Signatures that have unknown notations with the critical bit set are considered invalid.


Disables the use of a certificate store.  Normally sq uses the user's standard cert-d, which is located in `$HOME/.local/share/pgp.cert.d`.


Produces output in FORMAT, if possible


Produces output variant Version, such as 0.0.0. The default is the newest version. The output version is separate from the version of the sq program. To see the current supported versions, use output-versions subcommand.


Specifies the location of a pEp certificate store.  sq does not use a pEp certificate store by default; it must be explicitly enabled using this argument or the corresponding environment variable, PEP_CERT_STORE.  The pEp Engine's default certificate store is at `$HOME/.pEp/keys.db`.


Sets the reference time as an ISO 8601 formatted timestamp.  Normally, commands use the current time as the reference time.  This argument allows the user to use a difference reference time.  For instance, when creating a key using `sq key generate`, the creation time is normally set to the current time, but can be overridden using this option.  Similarly, when verifying a message, the message is verified with respect to the current time.  This option allows the user to use a different time.

TIME is interpreted as an ISO 8601 timestamp.  To set the certification time to July 21, 2013 at midnight UTC, you can do:

$ sq --time 20130721 verify msg.pgp

To include a time, say 5:50 AM, add a T, the time and optionally the timezone (the default timezone is UTC):

$ sq --time 20130721T0550+0200 verify msg.pgp


Considers the specified certificate to be a trust root. Trust roots are used by trust models, e.g., the Web of Trust, to authenticate certificates and User IDs.

-v,  --verbose

Be more verbose.


Create a signed message

    sq sign --signer-file juliet.pgp message.txt

Create a detached signature

    sq sign --detached --signer-file juliet.pgp message.txt

Create a signature with the specified creation time

    sq sign --time 20020304 --detached --signer-file juliet.pgp \

See Also


For the full documentation see <https://book.sequoia-pgp.org>.


0.33.0 (sequoia-openpgp 1.17.0)

Referenced By


0.33.0 Sequoia-PGP