RSA keys for encryption and in general DSA/RSA/ElGamal-keypairs

Atom 'Smasher' atom at
Fri Jun 18 08:39:11 CEST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Fri, 18 Jun 2004, Ulrich Schneider wrote:

> Thanks, that was very helpful.
> Besides ... is there a doku how to replace the enc. key with another 
> enc. key of higher key length when you want to have the same signature 
> key?

you want to keep the (primary) signing key, and replace an encryption 
subkey with something bigger?

you can create a new encryption (sub)key using "--edit-key", "addkey".

you have three options for what to do with the old key:

   1) leave it. the default gpg behavior is to use the newest key it can 
find. this means that your new key will be used when a gpg user encrypts a 
message to you, and the old key will be ignored. i have no idea which 
encryption subkey would be used by other pgp applications: if someone is 
sending you an encrypted message, and they use MIT-PGP or PGPi, it ~might~ 
use the old encryption subkey... i don't know...

   2) revoke it. in the edit-key menu, select the old key and "revkey". 
that subkey still exists, and can be used to decrypt previously encrypted 
messages, but anyone with a current copy of the key will not be able to 
use that subkey for encryption.

   3) delete it. in the edit-key menu, select the old key and "delkey". 
that subkey no longer exists and can not be used to encrypt (or decrypt!!) 

option #3 could be dangerous: you will not be able to read messages 
encrypted with that subkey. if someone has on older copy of your key 
(before you delete that subkey), they can encrypt a message to that subkey 
and you will have no way to decrypt it. if your key has *NOT* been 
circulated, then deleting the key might be a nice option; if/when you do 
put your key into circulation, it won't have an unnecessary subkey in it.

i would recommended options #1 or #2 if your key is in circulation. anyone 
could have an old copy of your key, and encrypt a message to a subkey that 
is no longer current (but they might not know it). in either case, you 
*will* be able to decrypt the message.

if you don't have any signatures on your key, and it's not widely used in 
public, you might consider just creating a new key from scratch... make it 
as big as you want.


  PGP key -
  762A 3B98 A3C3 96C9 C6B7 582A B88D 52E4 D9F5 7808

 	"Proprietary software seeks to maximize its value
 	 solely in monetary terms by achieving a monopoly.
 	 Open Source software maximizes its value by assuring
 	 that a monopoly cannot be achieved."
 		--  Mark Webbink, Senior Vice President and
 			General Counsel of Red Hat
Version: GnuPG v1.3.6 (FreeBSD)
Comment: What is this gibberish?


More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list