[pve-devel] [PATCH docs] pbs: add information about master key support

Fabian Grünbichler f.gruenbichler at proxmox.com
Tue Jun 22 13:43:31 CEST 2021

Signed-off-by: Fabian Grünbichler <f.gruenbichler at proxmox.com>
 pve-storage-pbs.adoc | 19 +++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 19 insertions(+)

diff --git a/pve-storage-pbs.adoc b/pve-storage-pbs.adoc
index c22f5b3..a3d7da1 100644
--- a/pve-storage-pbs.adoc
+++ b/pve-storage-pbs.adoc
@@ -57,6 +57,13 @@ restricted to the root user.  Use the magic value `autogen` to automatically
 generate a new one using `proxmox-backup-client key create --kdf none <path>`.
+A public RSA key used to encrypt the backup encryption key as part of the
+backup task. The encrypted copy will be appended to the backup and stored on
+the Proxmox Backup Server instance for recovery purposes.
+Optional, requires `encryption-key`.
 .Configuration Example (`/etc/pve/storage.cfg`)
 pbs: backup
@@ -116,6 +123,18 @@ a text file, for easy printing.
 # proxmox-backup-client key paperkey /etc/pve/priv/storage/<STORAGE-ID>.enc --output-format text > qrkey.txt
+Additionally, it is possible to use a single RSA master key pair for key
+recovery purposes: configure all clients doing encrypted backups to use a
+single public master key, and all subsequent encrypted backups will contain a
+RSA-encrypted copy of the used AES encryption key. The corresponding private
+master key allows recovering the AES key and decrypting the backup even if the
+client system is no longer available.
+WARNING: The same safe-keeping rules apply to the master key pair as to the
+regular encryption keys. Without a copy of the private key recovery is not
+possible! The `paperkey` command supports generating paper copies of private
+master keys for storage in a safe, physical location.
 Because the encryption is managed on the client side, you can use the same
 datastore on the server for unencrypted backups and encrypted backups, even
 if they are encrypted with different keys. However, deduplication between

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