2 local user-ids, 2 distinct key pairs but only 1 user-id can sign.

Erik Lotspeich erik at lotspeich.org
Tue Aug 18 20:56:29 CEST 2009

Hash: SHA1


I have two key pairs: one for my personal e-mail and one for work, so I
am in a similar situation as you are.

I switch between the two with the "--default-key" option to GPG and give
it my key ID as an argument (you can set this in your gpg.conf too).

Even after looking at the man page, I'm not entirely clear what "name"
the "--local-user" option is after (e.g. is it a name of a local user on
the system, or is it the uid name on the key).



M.B.Jr. wrote:
> Hi list,
> this is my first message here.
> Firstly, thank you Werner Koch and collaborators for such a superb software.
> More than an enthusiast on cryptography, I am a Brazilian citizen,
> concerned with the privacy and authenticity "components" involved in
> information exchange transactions (not only in digital format).
> Mainly, I'm concerned with the proper degree into which privacy and
> authenticity can contribute to a fair relationship between society and
> government.
> Digressions left aside, I've been using GnuPG for a while both in
> Linux distros and in Windows XP, without facing big issues. Until now.
> Let me depict the situation.
> OS: Windows XP Home SP3.
> GnuPG version: 1.4.7
> I have already generated a GnuPG key pair with ELG-E and DSA and
> everything was working fine.
> I was able then to sign files, simply with (e.g.):
> (1) gpg --clearsign "myfile.txt"
> by the time I generated a second key pair (again with ELG-E and DSA)
> to a new, distinct "user-id", this problem took place.
> Now, I want to sign some stuff with the new local user id's private
> key, and I try the command (e.g.):
> (2) gpg --local-user "[NEW_ID_NAME]" --clearsign "somefile.txt"
> and it prompts me NOT for a passphrase, nor does it even create an
> empty "asc" file.
> Instead, it only returns the message:
> usage: gpg [options] [filename]
> So far, I can only sign files with (1), using the first private key my
> GnuPG installation generated, which represents sort of a
> default-and-only usable "user-id".
> Is it expected? Am I missing something? Is it possible to sign files
> with my second "user-id"?
> Regards,
Version: GnuPG v2.0.9 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with SUSE - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/


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