Size of client key jumped from 2KB to 25KB

Steve Strobel steve.strobel at
Sat Mar 8 00:29:16 CET 2014

We have a Windows application that automatically generates a key pair on
first startup (no passphrase), then sends its public key to a server.  It
exports its public key to a file with a command like this:

gpg --output client-key.gpg --export -a ID49C207DF

I recently got an error message caused by the keyfile it created exceeding
a 10 KB threshold in the application code.  It is normally 2 KB or 3 KB,
but in this case it was 25KB.  Its size apparently jumped suddenly rather
than growing slowly, or it would have errored out at 11 KB rather than at
25 KB.  The extra-large key file has typical GPG headers and footers, but a
lot more data between them than usual.

Renaming the gnupg directory (which forces it to generate a new key pair)
resolved the issue for now, but I would like to know what might have gone
wrong to make the public key so large.

In both cases, the info about the keys looks normal, something like this:

$ gpg --list-keys
C:/Documents and Settings/steve.strobel/Application Data/gnupg\pubring.gpg
pub   2048R/49C207DF 2014-03-07
uid                  ID49C207DF (N/A) <ID49C207DF at>
uid                  IDLINKTDS <IDLINKTDS at>

I would be glad to send the keyring file if that would make troubleshooting
easier (the keys are not valuable).  Thanks for any pointers.


Steve Strobel
Link Communications, Inc.
1035 Cerise Rd
Billings, MT 59101-7378
(406) 245-5002 ext 102
(406) 245-4889 (fax)
MailTo:steve.strobel at
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