qrbackup is a utility for printing files onto paper using QR codes. Restoring the data does not need any special software and is easily done using one of the many decoders available (e.g. ZBar).

The man page includes examples on how to backup SSH authentication keys and GnuPG cryptography keys.

While qrbackup is predestined for creating backups of cryptography keys, no steps are taken to encrypt or obfuscate the data. Necessary precautions should be taken for the secure storage of the printed paper.


The latest version is qrbackup 0.2.0, released on December 25, 2015.


Here are two examples as PDF files:


The following programs and libraries are required to build qrbackup:

Building and using the test suite further requires:

On Debian Jessie the following command installs all required libraries and utilities:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake pkg-config zbar-tools \
  libssl-dev libqrencode-dev libcairo2-dev libpango1.0-dev \
  python-docutils libboost-{system,test,filesystem}-dev


Unless noted otherwise this software is released under the 3-clause BSD licence. Refer to the LICENCE file for further information.


Please contact me by e-mail if you’ve got any questions, suggestions or patches.