Default GPG Encryption Algorithm (symmetric cipher) is?

Mike Acker Mike_Acker at
Sun Jan 2 13:15:25 CET 2011

Many Thanks to Tiago Faria <tiago at>
Date:Sun, 2 Jan 2011 05:57:00 +0000

for excellent notes on editing GPG Keys.  I had found neither GPA nor
Kleo to have all of the edit capability that should be available for a
key and in particular on the User ID and preferences for symetric ciphers

the key to this is that you use command line ( no problemo ) and then
use the --edit-key to open a dialog.  I was used to using PGP and in
that every command has its own --command format

the one thing that Tiago didn't touch on in his example
For example:

setpref S9 S8 S7 S3 H10 H9 H8 H11 Z3 Z2 Z1 Z0

will configure a UID (these preferences are UID-based) to use:

Cipher: AES256, AES192, AES, CAST5, 3DES
Digest: SHA512, SHA384, SHA256, SHA224, SHA1
Compression: BZIP2, ZLIB, ZIP, Uncompressed

Hope this makes it easier for you to understand and edit to suit your

I think I didn't miss anything, but feel free to correct me :)
is: how does S9 equate to AES256 ?  there has to be a way to find the
equivalence between the verbose codes and the short hand

The User ID on a key may ( at the owner's option ) contain more than
just the e/mail address.  If I remember rightly PGP will search any
matching string in a key to use as and identifier so this could be a
phone number or an employee number.  Phone numbers, employee numbers,
and e/mail addresses all tend to change  when we change our affiliations
so this would leave a question as to the best way to identify a key

For the purpose of ENIGMAIL the e/mail address would seem to be the best
choice.  Even though I am changing e/mail address or even though I have
several e/mail addresses -- the public keys for these are on the server
and if you address mail to me via ENIGMAIL it will find the key
associated with the e/mail address you are using.  All Good.

Happy New Year All!

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