export-minimal and expired subkeys

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Thu Jan 9 16:11:25 CET 2014

On Thu,  9 Jan 2014 14:14, mmfische at web.de said:

> just a short question: Does the „export-minimal” option also remove unusable (expired) subkeys, or not?

Expired subkeys are not removed.

In fact expired signature subkeys are useful to verify old signatures
(e.g. gnupg tarballs); gpg shows a warning that the key expired but that
does not mean the signature is not anymore valid.

Encryption subkeys are less important but useful for backup purposes.
For example with 2.1 you need the public keys even to for decryption
(because the public parts of the key are not anymore duplicated in the
secret key).

> If not, is there a simple way to minimize the export further by dropping those subkeys?

Export the key to a temporary file, edit the key and remove the subkeys
you don't want, export the key, import the backup.  Not quite easy,

Adding an option to export only valid subkeys might be useful.



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