"no decrypt() for 17" - possible solution

Matthias Wimmer m@tthias.net
Wed Jun 4 23:48:02 2003

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Hi List!

I had the problem that I often got OpenPGP messages that I couldn't
decrypt. I got the message "no decrypt() for 17" and all I found on
Google on that were user that had the same problem ... but no one posted
a solution.

I found out what was the problem in my case and want to post my
solution. Maybe this helps other people too.

I generate a new subkey for encryption about every six months ... last
time I did this I published the new subkey on the keyservers but didn't
copy my new subkey to the PC where I read my e-mail.
It seems that I got this message because the mails were encrypted with a
subkey that was not available on the PC where I tried to decrypt the
Since I have distributed my new private subkey to all computers where I
use GnuPG I can decrypt the messages (that I was not able to decrypt
before) again.

Hope this helps some other people ... maybe a check for this problem
could be implemented in GnuPG to get a better error message.

Tot kijk

Fon: +49-(0)70 0770 07770       http://matthias.wimmer.name/
Fax: +49-(0)89 312 88 654         jabber://mawis@charente.de
HAM: DB1MW   OpenPGP: http://matthias.wimmer.name/encryption

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