Centralizing Private and Public Keys From Multiple Boxes with "-user" Switch

Hauke Laging mailinglisten at hauke-laging.de
Fri Apr 29 21:23:36 CEST 2011

Am Freitag, 29. April 2011, 20:56:49 schrieb Ted Zatopek:

> It looks to me that it's possible to have two private keys in use on the
> same keyring and that you can specify which key to use when you are
> encrypting by using the "-user" switch in your encryption command.

That is correct except for the detail that the option is --local-user or -u.

In order to prevent writing nonsense I checked what "-user" produces. I used 
this command:

gpg --detach-sign -user eccb5814 index.html

I was surprised by the result. gpg created a signature using a key with no 
obvious relation to the command. Additionally I got an error message that 
"eccb5814" was not found (meaning: as a file).

I finally understood by myself that "-user" is interpreted as 
"--local-user ser". Many keys have "ser" in their UIDs.

Does it make sense to accept a parameter for --local-user which is not 
unambiguous? Of course, it says what it is going to do but aborting with a 
clear error message would be user protection IMHO.

PGP: D44C 6A5B 71B0 427C CED3 025C BD7D 6D27 ECCB 5814
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