gpg option "--list-only"

John A. Wallace jw72253 at
Tue Nov 1 22:17:49 CET 2011

Hello.   The online manual for gpg states this about the "-list-keys"
option: "Changes the behaviour of some commands. This is like --dry-run but
different in some cases. The semantic of this command may be extended in the
future. Currently it only skips the actual decryption pass and therefore
enables a fast listing of the encryption keys."


I was testing some procedures with this option, using in one instance a
message encrypted with a public key passphrase and in another instance a
message encrypted with symmetric encryption only.  Indeed, as stated, in the
first case I was shown to which sub key ID it had been encrypted.  on the
other hand, in the second case, I was shown only a symmetric cipher type
(e.g., CAST5), the one which was used for encryption.  These results are
consistent with what I expected.  My question is, should I expect this sort
of outcome in all cases?  I should be shown a key ID for encryption with a
public key, and I should be shown an encryption cipher when symmetric
encryption was used?  Thanks.




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