Issues with adding UID's

David Shaw dshaw at
Tue Jan 4 04:36:24 CET 2005

On Sun, Jan 02, 2005 at 03:40:03PM +0100, Patrick wrote:
> I have found two issues related to adding UID's:
> 1. If I have a key with no UID explicitly set as primary UID, then
> adding a UID will set the new one as 1st UID. I would have expected the
> original 1st UID to stay at position 1.

This is intentional.  If no UID is explicitly set as primary, then
GnuPG uses the most recent UID as the primary.  The reason is that if
someone (for example) gets a new email address, the new UID *should*
be the primary one.

It's certainly possible to come up with an argument why the old UID
should be primary, just as there is an argument why the new UID should
be primary.  The solution is to remove the ambiguity, and set the
primary UID flag when you want a particular UID to be primary.

> 2. Following scenario: I have 2 computers, both using the same
> secret key. Now, I add a UID on the 1st computer. I export the new
> key (both secret and public key) and import both at the second
> computer. The new UID appears correctly on the 2nd PC, but when I
> use "gpg --edit-key ...  toggle", the new UID is not
> visible. Furthermore, I cannot use "gpg -u <new-uid>". I have done
> some testing, and found that the new UID is only "fully" available
> if I first delete the secret and public key from my keyring and then
> import the updated key.

Just the secret key.  GnuPG doesn't do merging of secret keys, so you
can't export it one place and merge it into another without deleting
the target first.


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