can't decrypt with the public key...

Mark Weaver
Tue Jul 24 03:18:01 2001

Hi there,

Recently a friend and i both installed GnuPG on our Linux systems and
we're both using a Pine interface name pgpenvelope to filter and decrypt
messages with. The thing is using my public key he is able to decrypt my
messages with no problem, however, i'm unable to do the same using his
key. All my other keys work just fine, and his key works fine on his
system. What in the world could be going on?

Below is the message that I get back from gpg as it's attempting to
decrypt the message using his key. As you can see it reports that it's
unable to find the secret key.

-----pgpenvelope processed message
gpg: encrypted with 1024-bit ELG-E key, ID 32EE3483, created 2001-07-23
"Roger Sherman (jersy) <>" gpg: decryption failed:
secret key not available gpg: [don't know]: invalid packet (ctb=29)
pgpenvelope_decrypt: GnuPG produced no output (possibly a failed
decryption, or invalid data) skipping a block
-----end pgpenvelope information

the weird thing is that when I ask gpg to list the keys on my key ring the
secret key it is looking for is listed as existing on the keyring.

[mdw1982@mdw1982 mdw1982]$ gpg --list-keys

pub  1024D/8FF3B035 2001-07-23 Roger Sherman (jersy)
sub  1024g/32EE3483 2001-07-23


So, this one has got me real good and stumped and I was hoping someone
here on the list could shed a little light on the problem for me. I've
everywhere i can think of trying to find information on this particular
subject or something similar with no luck.

And as a side note the key that is listed here is the third key generated,
uploaded to the server, and imported to my system. All three have yeilded
the same results. (the error message posted above) Also, I've both
imported the keys from the server and i've also tried importing the key
from an armored file. Still getting the same results when trying to
decrypt with his key(s).

PGPEnvelope doesn't seem to have any trouble with message that are signed
using this key. Not sure if that matter or not.

thanks in advance,