setting expiration date changes primary UID (was: Re: GnuPG race causes misordered uids?

Marcus Brinkmann Marcus.Brinkmann at
Tue May 27 11:28:01 CEST 2003

On Tue, May 27, 2003 at 09:30:19AM +0200, Werner Koch wrote:
> On Tue, 27 May 2003 06:29:39 +0200, Marcus Brinkmann said:
> > key.  This reveals a completely unrelated bug in GPG.  Setting the
> > expiration date of a key changes the primary UID!
> Its a feature not a bug.  The primary UID is the one with the primary
> uid flag set or in absence of this flag the UID with the newest
> self-signature.  Changing the expiration time creates a new
> self-signature using the current time.

So what happens, supposedly, is that the currently primary UID gets its self
signature first, and then the others.  As it happens, a new second begins
between that and one of the secondary UIDs becomes primary UID then because
they have newer self-signatures.  Wonderful :)

Well, I guess that fixing the primary UID through the edit interface is an
acceptable hack then (for the test suite).


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' GNU    marcus at
Marcus Brinkmann              The Hurd
Marcus.Brinkmann at

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