Old format packet support

David Shaw dshaw at jabberwocky.com
Fri Feb 6 17:36:57 CET 2004

On Fri, Feb 06, 2004 at 04:48:34PM -0500, Hasnain Mujtaba wrote:
> Hi all,
> Does GPG support RFC1991 Old format indeterminate length packets? And if
> so, how can I force GPG to generate a message using this old format
> encoding?
> I know that GPG uses the RFC2440 partial length encoding headers. But
> what about the old format indeterminate lengths?

The problem with the this encoding is that it is indeed indeterminate
length - there is no length encoded in the packet itself, so the
reader must infer from context (i.e. end of file, end of encapsulating
packet) what the end of the packet is.  2440 deprecates this format as

GnuPG can understand this format, but in general does not generate it
except for compatibility reasons.  You can force it in some cases with
the --rfc1991 option, but not all packets make sense as indeterminate

What are you trying to do?


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