SmartCard decryption issues

Christopher Beck beckus at
Mon Nov 9 15:50:11 CET 2015

Hi folks,

I'am using a GnuPG smart-card for a long time and it always works except
one host :-(

I have got two sub-keys on the card, one for signing and one for
decryption. Both keys are 4096 bit in size. The issues are only on the
decrpting process: Signing works well, but when I try to decrypt
something (an e-mail or an encrypted file) it just says, there is no
secret key. I switched on debugging output and it tells me:

"public key decryption failed: General error
decryption failed: No secret key"

I checked $ gpg -K and $gpg --card-status and so on, and it tells me
exactly the same i can see on my other computers: there are two keys
available on the smart-card. So I am wondering, what the problem is. The
version of gpg is 2.0.14 on scientific linux 6.

Has anybody else issues using rhel 6 based distros? Or is there another
way to check out, what problems gpg has finding the key for decryption?

Thanks for any hints!

Christopher Beck
I use GnuPG (GPG) for e-mail encryption and signing. If you want some
privacy, my public key ID is 2F9D4F14. The file "singature.asc" this
message includes contains a cryptographic signature which enables you to
verify this E-Mail really was written by me.

Christopher Beck, DL1CHB

Gerhart-Hauptmann-Str. 1
91058 Erlangen
Tel.: 09131 / 9245437
Fax.: 09131 / 8148708
Jabber: beckus at

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