default keyring file formats

John jw72253 at
Wed Feb 20 06:05:01 CET 2013

"David Shaw"  wrote in message 
news:A85519AA-6166-48A8-91C8-312ADB5B7EEC__1406.68022581867$1361331370$gmane$org at

On Feb 19, 2013, at 9:27 PM, John A. Wallace <jw72253 at> wrote:

> A lot of the documentation I see online includes references to files with 
> names like “” or “foo.sec” as if these were public key rings and 
> secret key rings. However, I am accustomed to seeing keyrings like 
> “pubring.gpg” and “secring.gpg”. Were the former of these used as keyring 
> files in the past, but nowadays the latter format are used?

Keyrings of that type are just files with multiple keys concatenated 
together.  The format is effectively the same no matter what the filename 

I've often seen / foo.sec as a single key (while the pubring.gpg, 
pubring.pgp, or pubring.pkr) is the keyring, but that's just convention.


Hi, David. I appreciated your prompt reply. So with a concatenated keyring 
in the format "" would I first use a command like the following one 
if I want to get the keys out of it in order to move them and import them 
into a default (i.e., conventional) keyring of the format "pubring.gpg":

gpg --export --no-default-keyring --keyring --armor --output 


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