Reading key capabilities information before importing a key

Hauke Laging mailinglisten at
Thu Apr 11 00:28:49 CEST 2013

Am Mi 10.04.2013, 22:57:53 schrieb Branko Majic:
> Hello all,
> I'm trying to find a way to list the key capabilities of a key before
> importing it. I can obtain some basic information by using the command
> (I've seen this one in the mailing list archives):
> gpg2 --with-colons test.key
> The only catch being that the above command will not list the key
> capabilities for the keys contained in a file. Any way to obtain this
> information without importing the key into keyring?

Two possibilities:

gpg --list-packets hauke__0x1a571df5.asc
:public sub key packet:
        version 4, algo 1, created 1352000413, expires 0
        pkey[0]: [2048 bits]
        pkey[1]: [17 bits]
        keyid: 486B17AB3F96AD8E
:signature packet: algo 1, keyid BF4B8EEF1A571DF5
        version 4, created 1352000413, md5len 0, sigclass 0x18
        digest algo 2, begin of digest c1 78
        hashed subpkt 2 len 4 (sig created 2012-11-04)
        hashed subpkt 27 len 1 (key flags: 02)

Subpacket class 27 is the key capabilities.


       First octet:

       0x01 - This key may be used to certify other keys.

       0x02 - This key may be used to sign data.

       0x04 - This key may be used to encrypt communications.

       0x08 - This key may be used to encrypt storage.

       0x10 - The private component of this key may have been split
              by a secret-sharing mechanism.

       0x20 - This key may be used for authentication.

       0x80 - The private component of this key may be in the
              possession of more than one person.

2) You import the key but direct it to a different keyring, see

PGP: 7D82 FB9F D25A 2CE4 5241 6C37 BF4B 8EEF 1A57 1DF5 (seit 2012-11-04)
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