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#285 in Command line utilities

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Rust 9K SLoC // 0.0% comments FreeMarker 2K SLoC

The age logo, an wireframe of St. Peters dome in Rome, with the text: age, file encryption

rage: Rust implementation of age

rage is a simple, modern, and secure file encryption tool, using the age format. It features small explicit keys, no config options, and UNIX-style composability.

The format specification is at age-encryption.org/v1. age was designed by @Benjojo12 and @FiloSottile.

The reference interoperable Go implementation is available at filippo.io/age.

Hardware PIV tokens such as YubiKeys are supported through the age-plugin-yubikey plugin.

For more plugins, implementations, tools, and integrations, check out the awesome age list.


Environment CLI command
Cargo (Rust 1.65+) cargo install rage
Homebrew (macOS or Linux) brew tap str4d.xyz/rage https://str4d.xyz/rage
brew install rage
Alpine Linux (edge) apk add rage
Arch Linux pacman -S rage-encryption
Debian Debian packages
NixOS Add to config: environment.systemPackages = [ pkgs.rage ];
Or run nix-env -i rage
openSUSE Tumbleweed zypper install rage-encryption
Ubuntu 20.04+ Debian packages
FreeBSD pkg install rage-encryption
Scoop (Windows) scoop bucket add main
scoop install main/rage

On Windows, Linux, and macOS, you can use the pre-built binaries.

Help from new packagers is very welcome. Please use the package name rage; the fallback package name rage-encryption should be used only when there are unavoidable name conflicts in package systems that use global namespaces. Do not rename any binaries; instead use your package system's conflicting package mechanism to prevent installation of both packages at once.


Usage: rage [--encrypt] (-r RECIPIENT | -R PATH)... [-i IDENTITY] [-a] [-o OUTPUT] [INPUT]
       rage [--encrypt] --passphrase [-a] [-o OUTPUT] [INPUT]
       rage --decrypt [-i IDENTITY] [-o OUTPUT] [INPUT]

  [INPUT]  Path to a file to read from.

  -h, --help                    Print this help message and exit.
  -V, --version                 Print version info and exit.
  -e, --encrypt                 Encrypt the input (the default).
  -d, --decrypt                 Decrypt the input.
  -p, --passphrase              Encrypt with a passphrase instead of recipients.
      --max-work-factor <WF>    Maximum work factor to allow for passphrase decryption.
  -a, --armor                   Encrypt to a PEM encoded format.
  -r, --recipient <RECIPIENT>   Encrypt to the specified RECIPIENT. May be repeated.
  -R, --recipients-file <PATH>  Encrypt to the recipients listed at PATH. May be repeated.
  -i, --identity <IDENTITY>     Use the identity file at IDENTITY. May be repeated.
  -j <PLUGIN-NAME>              Use age-plugin-PLUGIN-NAME in its default mode as an identity.
  -o, --output <OUTPUT>         Write the result to the file at path OUTPUT.

INPUT defaults to standard input, and OUTPUT defaults to standard output.
If OUTPUT exists, it will be overwritten.

- An age public key, as generated by rage-keygen ("age1...").
- An SSH public key ("ssh-ed25519 AAAA...", "ssh-rsa AAAA...").

PATH is a path to a file containing age recipients, one per line
(ignoring "#" prefixed comments and empty lines). "-" may be used to
read recipients from standard input.

IDENTITY is a path to a file with age identities, one per line
(ignoring "#" prefixed comments and empty lines), or to an SSH key file.
Passphrase-encrypted age identity files can be used as identity files.
Multiple identities may be provided, and any unused ones will be ignored.
"-" may be used to read identities from standard input.

Multiple recipients

Files can be encrypted to multiple recipients by repeating -r/--recipient. Every recipient will be able to decrypt the file.

$ rage -o example.png.age -r age1uvscypafkkxt6u2gkguxet62cenfmnpc0smzzlyun0lzszfatawq4kvf2u \
    -r age1ex4ty8ppg02555at009uwu5vlk5686k3f23e7mac9z093uvzfp8sxr5jum example.png

Recipient files

Multiple recipients can also be listed one per line in one or more files passed with the -R/--recipients-file flag.

$ cat recipients.txt
# Alice
# Bob
$ rage -R recipients.txt example.jpg > example.jpg.age

If the argument to -R (or -i) is -, the file is read from standard input.


Files can be encrypted with a passphrase by using -p/--passphrase. By default rage will automatically generate a secure passphrase.

$ rage -p -o example.png.age example.png
Type passphrase (leave empty to autogenerate a secure one): [hidden]
Using an autogenerated passphrase:
$ rage -d example.png.age >example.png
Type passphrase: [hidden]

If a binary named pinentry is available in $PATH, it will be used to ask the user for a passphrase. The PINENTRY_PROGRAM environment variable can be used to set the binary name or path to use. If a pinentry binary is not available, or PINENTRY_PROGRAM is set to the empty string, rage will fall back to the CLI instead.

Passphrase-protected identity files

If an identity file passed to -i/--identity is a passphrase-encrypted age file, it will be automatically decrypted.

$ rage -p -o key.age <(rage-keygen)
Public key: age1pymw5hyr39qyuc950tget63aq8vfd52dclj8x7xhm08g6ad86dkserumnz
Type passphrase (leave empty to autogenerate a secure one): [hidden]
Using an autogenerated passphrase:
$ rage -r age1pymw5hyr39qyuc950tget63aq8vfd52dclj8x7xhm08g6ad86dkserumnz secrets.txt > secrets.txt.age
$ rage -d -i key.age secrets.txt.age > secrets.txt
Type passphrase: [hidden]

Passphrase-protected identity files are not necessary for most use cases, where access to the encrypted identity file implies access to the whole system. However, they can be useful if the identity file is stored remotely.

SSH keys

As a convenience feature, rage also supports encrypting to ssh-rsa and ssh-ed25519 SSH public keys, and decrypting with the respective private key file. (ssh-agent is not supported.)

$ rage -R ~/.ssh/id_ed25519.pub example.png > example.png.age
$ rage -d -i ~/.ssh/id_ed25519 example.png.age > example.png

Note that SSH key support employs more complex cryptography, and embeds a public key tag in the encrypted file, making it possible to track files that are encrypted to a specific public key.

Feature flags

When building with Cargo, you can configure rage using --no-default-features and --features comma,separated,flags to enable or disable the following feature flags:

  • mount enables the rage-mount tool, which can mount age-encrypted TAR or ZIP archives as read-only. It is currently only usable on Unix systems, as it relies on libfuse.

  • ssh (enabled by default) enables support for reusing existing SSH key files for age encryption.

  • unstable enables in-development functionality. Anything behind this feature flag has no stability or interoperability guarantees.

Rust Library

Applications wishing to use rage as a library should use the age crate, which rage is built on top of.


Licensed under either of

at your option.


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.


~421K SLoC