Changing the email address of a key

Peter Lebbing peter at
Wed Aug 29 14:11:59 CEST 2012

On 29/08/12 13:53, Richi Lists wrote:
> I can't get it to work wether I try it on the primary or the sub key and
> whether I use gpg or gpg2.
> [...]
> $ gpg2 -v --edit-key E8401492!
> [...]
> gpg: using subkey E8401492 instead of primary key 0AE275A9
> Secret key is available.

Why are you forcing using the subkey? An UID is /always/ on the primary key, it
makes no sense to make an UID on the subkey. I think.

Simply losing the exclamation mark should fix it, or just specify

$ gpg2 --edit-key 0AE275A9

Also, apart from UIDs on subkeys making no sense, it would seem to me that an
UID needs to be bound with a Certification-capable signing key, whereas your
signing subkey E8401492 can only make signatures on data. That's probably why
GnuPG says:

> gpg: signing failed: Unusable secret key

Although it could also be that the secret part for that subkey is simply not
available? I'm not sure whether the "secret key is available" message I quoted
above pertains to the primary key or the secret subkey you forced on the command

If you still have problems after this explanation, please provide more data
about your setup. You have two encryption subkeys, two data signature subkeys,
and GnuPG complains that there are secret parts missing. It will be a lot easier
to help you if you can explain what pieces of data are where :).


I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
My key is available at

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