GPG (v. 1.4.12) is not user-friendly

Kelly Dean kelly at
Thu Jan 1 05:59:37 CET 2015

Ryan Sawhill wrote:
> I disagree with your subject, and propose that you google for a tutorial
> since the man page clearly didn't work for you.

The man page did work for me, and I was able to accomplish my goal.

> (As far as I can tell, you were trying to import someone's pubkey, in which
> case you should simply have used: gpg --import FILE)

No, I was trying to get the key's fingerprint, _without_ importing it. I thought my original message made clear that I was trying to get the fingerprint. The point of my message was that GPG apparently requires pointless circumlocution for this simple function.

Now I'm afraid you'll just ask, ‟why not just import it?”, even though that misses the point. The answer is: I don't want it on my keyring, if it's the wrong key. How do I know whether it's the right key? By checking the fingerprint! And to check it, I have to get it.

Then you might answer that I should import the key, get the fingerprint, check that it's the right one, and remove the key if it's the wrong one. But it's more straightforward to simply check the fingerprint first, and not import the key in the first place if it's the wrong one. Which was my goal.

Getting the fingerprint should not require importing the key. Getting the fingerprint should not require writing to any file at all. It should only require reading.

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list