Importing gnupg secret keys into pgp

Charly Avital
Thu Apr 18 16:57:02 2002

The following workaround has served me to export secret keys created in  
GnuPG (Mac GPG) MacOS X, and import them in PGP 6.5.8 or 7.0.3 (Macintosh 
MacOS 9.1).

- export the secret key in the Terminal, --armor.
- copy from Terminal, paste into an e-mail message Eudora for MacOS X.
- actually send the e-mail to myself.
- receive the e-mail in Eudora 5.1r Macintosh OS 9.1 (in a different 
- use the PGP plug-in for Eudora command "PGP Add Keys".
- when I used, as recipient, PGP 6.5.8, the keypair showed a blank field 
opposite Cipher, in the Key Properties. PGP 6.5.8 supports only CAST, 3DES 
and IDEA.
- when I used, as recipient, PGP 7.0.3, the keypair showed Cihper: AES-128.
PGP 7.0.3 supports AES CAST Twofish 3DES and IDEA.
- there was no need to change the passphrase before export. The same 
passphrase worked fine after import.

I have no idea whether this workaround can be accomplished in a Windows 

In a related topic (zeroing the passphrase): some Mac users have reported 
that when trying to export secret keys generated in PGP (MacOS 9.x.x), and 
import then into Mac PGP (GnuPG in MacOS X), an "algorithm 1 not supported.
.." message was produced. Those were *not* RSA keys with IDEA.
Zeroing the passphrase in PGP before export/import solved the problem. The 
passphrase was restored immediately in PGP, and entered in Mac GPG.

I had no such problems when  exporting keys created in PGP and importing 
them in Mac GPG.

I can now use RSA/IDEA keys, after importing the IDEA module into GnuPG.


On Thursday, April 18, 2002, at 01:35  PM, Nicholas Dickens wrote:

> I know this is the wrong way round to do this, but I've recently
> acquired a windows machine at work and am using outlook. The simplest
> way to get messages signed is to use pgp. But I can't seem to import my
> secret keys into it. Any ideas (or places to look), pgp to gnupg is
> pretty well covered...
> Nick
> --
> Nicholas Dickens BSc ARCS
> MRC FGU, Department of Human Anatomy & Genetics,
> South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QX, UK
> Tel: +44 1865 2 82650
> [...]