Secret key not available

Werner Koch wk at
Fri May 25 18:02:26 CEST 2012

On Fri, 25 May 2012 17:25, bd9439 at said:

> I don't get as much info returned as you guys but that's probably because I
> Have an "old" gpg version on my system (1.4.11):

That is not very old.  1.4 is fully maintained in addition to 2.x.

> gpg: encrypted with ELG-E key, ID 1B8A6A37
> gpg: decryption failed: secret key not available
> But it is enough to confirm that this is not my key; I'll ask them to resend.

Note that gpg only shows the ID of the encryption subkey.  The primary
key is what is what is commonly used to specify a key id.  For example:

  pub   2048D/1E42B367 2007-12-31 [expires: 2018-12-31]
  uid                  Werner Koch <wk at>
  sub   1024D/77F95F95 2011-11-02
  sub   2048R/C193565B 2011-11-07 [expires: 2013-12-31]

1E42B367 is the primary key and thus has the fingerprint which is
usually communicated.  C193565B is the encryption key you see in
encrypted messages.  When encrypting, GPG automatically selects the
newest encryption subkey.  To see the primary key, you may just use it
on the command line:

  gpg -k C193565B

yields the same listing as above.



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