newbie: --edit-key problem

Alphax alphasigmax at
Thu Apr 20 05:13:13 CEST 2006

Michael D. Berger wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: gnupg-users-bounces at 
>> [mailto:gnupg-users-bounces at] On Behalf Of John W. Moore III
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:30 PM
>> To: GnuPG Users List
>> Subject: Re: newbie: --edit-key problem
>> Hash: SHA256
>> This is also from the Manual and should help set your prefs 
>> in gpg.conf.
>> - --personal-cipher-preferences string
>>        Set  the  list of personal cipher preferences to string, this
>>        list should be a string similar to the  one  printed  by  the
>>        command  "pref"  in  the  edit menu.  This allows the user to
>>        factor in their own preferred algorithms when algorithms  are
>>        chosen via recipient key preferences.  The most highly ranked
>>        cipher in this list is also used for the --symmetric  encryp-
>>        tion command.
>> Remember, when placing Commands into gpg.conf the '--' prefix 
>> is omitted.
>> JOHN ;)
> [...]
> --personal-cipher-preferences string
> did not seem to work either in the config file (without --) or in a
> command line.  It was "seen", however, since a misspelling resulted
> in a diagnostic.
> I ultimately was able to add blowfish to my preferences with:
>    gpg --edit-key mdb00
>       setpref BLOWFISH <followed by the things that were already there, no
> commas>
>       <confirm that I really want to do it>
>       <supply passphrase when asked>
>       <ignore output suggesting passphrase was not seen -- it was>
> It is noteworthy that the 3DES cipher cannot be removed by this
> procedure, while any other cypher can.  I wonder why this is.

The OpenPGP spec (RFC 2440) says that 3DES is *required* for a cipher
algorithm; it is mandatory that programs complying to the RFC implement
3DES as a cipher algorithm, DSA and Elgamal for keys, and SHA-1 for a
hash function. sums
it up pretty neatly.

        Death to all fanatics!
  Down with categorical imperative!
OpenPGP key:

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