Default GPG Encryption Algorithm (symmetric cipher) is?

frankexchange at frankexchange at
Sun Jan 2 07:14:29 CET 2011

As mentioned I am a Linux newbie (command line adverse) and like many
users of Ubuntu they would not know how access details of what the
default symmetric cipher is.

Use of the term "default" was provided to mean the one GPG uses without
any user intervention IE: Default

So at risk of sounding silly, what is the Default symmetric cipher used
in GPG under Unbuntu 10.04 LTS?


----- Original message -----
From: "Robert J. Hansen" <rjh at>
To: gnupg-users at
Date: Sun, 02 Jan 2011 00:46:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Default GPG Encryption Algorithm (symmetric cipher) is?

On 1/1/2011 11:24 PM, frankexchange at wrote:
> Does anyone know exactly which default symmetric Cipher (Encryption
> Algorithm) is used by GPG? Apparently it is CAST-128, but I cannot find
> any citation online that confirms this is the case for the version of
> GPG integrated into Ubuntu 10.04 LTS OS.

Forgive what may seem like a silly answer, but "whatever you told GnuPG
to use as a default."  If you want CAST5-128, 3DES, AES256 or whatever,
just add:

default-cipher-preferences [algo name]

... to your ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf file.

To get a list of algorithm names, type "gpg --version" at a command

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