Format of exported private keys

David Shaw dshaw at
Tue Aug 31 23:58:59 CEST 2010

On Aug 31, 2010, at 4:45 PM, ab1234cd5678 at wrote:

> Hi,
> I plan to produce a webmailer that does use my private key in a
> Javascript implementation.
> To achieve this I came up with the idea to have a textarea field on
> the form where I can paste my exported secret key and use.
> Unfortunately I can't find any information about the structure of the
> exported key. So I know it is armored. It contains a checksum as well.
> But how is the checksum calculated, how do I distinguish between PGP
> keys and X.509 keys?

Without going into the wisdom of pasting private keys into a web form (yikes), the information you are looking for is in RFC-4880.


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