digital signature primary key and encryption subkey

David Shaw dshaw at
Wed Nov 18 15:38:24 CET 2009

On Nov 18, 2009, at 8:49 AM, M.B.Jr. wrote:

> Hi David,
> On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 1:21 AM, David Shaw <dshaw at> wrote:
>> On Nov 17, 2009, at 10:00 PM, M.B.Jr. wrote:
>>> both my public and private keys will be built upon my DSA primary key
>>> and my Elgamal encryption subkey?
>> I'm afraid I don't really understand what you are asking.  Your primary key
>> (DSA) has a public and private part, and uses the DSA algorithm.  Your
>> subkey (Elgamal) has a public and private part, and uses the Elgamal
>> algorithm.  Your subkey is signed by your primary key to indicate that they
>> belong together.
> Your answer certainly covered more than I expected. Thank you.
> So, public parts (from my primary key and my subkey) formed my public
> key and the same goes to the private parts and my private key. Is that
> correct?

Yes.  "Public key" is frequently shorthand for a number of public keys stuck together with some OpenPGP glue, and the same is true for private keys.


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