Identifying your private key by the public KeyID

Kenneth Jones kententen at
Tue Aug 6 15:22:43 CEST 2013

I'm referring to the information you see for example in the prompt to
enter your private key when you have received an encrypted message in
Thunderbird/Enigmail. The window "pinetry" prompts "Please enter the
pass...2048-bit RSA key, ID DEADBEEF, created ... (main key ID
ABCD0123)." Notice there are two key ID mentioned in the window, one
called Main, which is also the public Key ID, (the one I expected, the
one I remember) and the other for the secret key (which I have Never
Paid any attention to).

Frankly, I had never even noticed that before I ran into a little app
for the iPad called iPGMail that actually ONLY prompts me for my secret
key by asking for it by the secret key ID. Now, you gotta grant that
there is nothing incorrect or inaccurate about asking for the desired
key by its actual identification. But it sure isn't normal in my
experience to do it that way. It caused me no end of troublesome
investigation until I tumbled to what was actually being asked for was
technically the Correct ID, but it certainly wasn't the Commonly Used
Method, in my experience.

See what I mean?


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