updprefs command and changing key

Grant Olson kgo at grant-olson.net
Fri Mar 12 22:10:09 CET 2010

On 3/10/2010 4:07 PM, Robert Palmer wrote:
> During exchange of a public key to a 3^rd  party – they rejected the key
> for not having a compatible cipher; so, after doing some research the
> key was edited within gpg to update prefs on the key which now shows a
> compatible cipher (in this case, AES-256).  I re-exported the public key
> and noticed that the ascii representation was different – this leads me
> to my question, which is: is this new key 100% compatible with the old
> key?  To elaborate, will previous other 3^rd party entities (equipped
> only with the non-updated prefs version) still be able to decrypt and
> accept messages signed with the new key?  Preliminary testing shows that
> the updated prefs version encrypted message is able to be decrypted and
> signature verified on the non-updated prefs version keyring system.
> I am thinking (from preliminary tests) that the “key” information does
> not get updated at all – but, somehow, the cipher preferences are
> embedded in the public key – hence, the reason that the exported public
> key ASCII representation was different before and after updating
> preferences.
> Any understanding that someone can add to this would be very much
> appreciated.  Thanks.

Yep.  The key itself is the same and the encoded preferences changed.
Your old contacts can still do all the same stuff they were before using
your old preferences until they update their copy of your public key.
Your new ones will use the new preferences.  Nothing should break.

If you're using the keyservers, you'll want to send the new public key
out so that people can get your new preferences.

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