Default encryption key algo

David Shaw dshaw at
Mon May 11 19:16:43 CEST 2009

On May 11, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Werner Koch wrote:

> Hi,
> from all responses we gathered regarding the change of the default
> algorithm for new keys (on several lists) it should be pretty clear  
> that
> RSA is a good choice.
> The next question is whether to use Elgamal or RSA as the standard
> encryption subkey for a new key.  Currently it is Elgamal.  They are
> both okay: Elgamal needs to be supported anyway becuase it is a MUST
> algorithm in OpenPGP and RSA can be used because the primary key  
> will be
> RSA and an implementation without RSA support won't be able to use an
> Elgamal subkey either.
> I have a slight preference towards RSA because that allows to transfer
> the key to a smartcard.  Given that subkeys are easily changeable it  
> is
> not a real advantage, though.
> Any opinions?  What is PGP's default?

PGP's default is RSA.  They don't really mix key types very much in  
the UI.  They either do DSA/Elgamal or RSA/RSA.

The smartcard is a good reason to choose RSA, I'd say.  (Speaking of  
which, do you know when the new cards will be available?)


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