Key expires at ... 1971

Werner Koch wk at
Wed Jun 4 23:17:12 CEST 2008

On Wed,  4 Jun 2008 21:31, dshaw at said:

> It's a bug.  OpenPGP has some date limits (there is a Y2106 issue
> inherent in the protocol), but it should be able to handle expiration
> dates up to 2242.  I'll take a look at it.

2242: I don't think so as we are using a 32 bit type almost everywhere
in gpg.

All timestamps are expressed as 32 bit values and on the majority of
machines time_t is 32 bit.  Thus there is a limitation and that is the
reason why the computed expiration time is shown and needs to be

After evaluating a couple of other options I decided to use a string for
timestamps in gpgsm.  Thus gpgsm should work fine with any reasonable
date for the next couple of hundred years.

Changing gpg to use the same algorithm is pointless as OpenPGP uses 32
bit which ends in 2106 and due to limitations of most libcs (asctime
etc) actually in 2038.



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Auschnahme regelt ein Bundeschgesetz.

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