GPG (v. 1.4.12) is not user-friendly

Sandeep Murthy s.murthy at
Thu Jan 1 02:26:29 CET 2015

I agree, this output is not user friendly at all, but did you try instead

   `$ gpg —edit-key <key ID>

which should start the `gpg` program (interactive environment
with the `gpg>` prompt, and then you do

   `gpg> fpr`

to display the fingerprint.

The problem with commands of this type

    `gpg —<option> <key file>`,

is that it is calling on the key file on your computer, and this
is a static reference which could cause problems with file
permissions or if the file has been moved, renamed, corrupted,
damaged, or deleted.  It is better to use the <key ID> because
that doesn’t change whatever happens to your local key file

I reproduce the `gpg` session with my public key for my
email below:

[srm@~]$gpg --edit-key 9EAB92B4
gpg (GnuPG/MacGPG2) 2.0.26; Copyright (C) 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

pub  4096R/9EAB92B4  created: 2014-12-30  expires: never       usage: SCEA
                     trust: ultimate      validity: ultimate
sub  2048R/238026C5  created: 2014-12-30  expires: 2022-12-28  usage: S
sub  2048R/66C9185A  created: 2014-12-30  expires: 2022-12-28  usage: E
[ultimate] (1). <sandeepmurthy at>

gpg> fpr
pub   4096R/9EAB92B4 2014-12-30 <sandeepmurthy at>
 Primary key fingerprint: AE7B 5571 64AF 1025 AF89  4180 6EA7 1DBC 9EAB 92B4

Sandeep Murthy
s.murthy at

> On 30 Dec 2014, at 09:49, Kelly Dean <kelly at> wrote:
> # gpg key.gpg
> pub  2048D/7FBDEF9B 2014-09-24 GNU ELPA Signing Agent <elpasign at>
> # gpg key.gpg --fingerprint
> usage: gpg [options] [filename]
> # gpg --fingerprint key.gpg
> gpg: error reading key: public key not found
> # man gpg
> # mkdir tmp
> # cp key.gpg tmp/pubring.gpg
> # gpg --fingerprint --homedir tmp/
> gpg: WARNING: unsafe permissions on homedir `tmp/'
> gpg: tmp//trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
> tmp//pubring.gpg
> ----------------
> pub   2048D/7FBDEF9B 2014-09-24 [expires: 2019-09-23]
>      Key fingerprint = CA44 2C00 F917 74F1 7F59  D9B0 474F 0583 7FBD EF9B
> uid                  GNU ELPA Signing Agent <elpasign at>
> # rm tmp/ -r
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> Gnupg-users at

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