File Encrypted with Primary key

Brian Minton brian at
Sun Aug 21 14:59:13 CEST 2016

Hash: SHA512

You can use gpg --list-packets to see exactly what OpenPGP packets are
present in the ciphertext. That would show you in great detail exactly what
their software sent you.


On Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 6:53 AM Peter Lebbing <peter at> wrote:

> I have no experience with the software you mention. Keep that in mind
> while reading my ramblings.
> On 19/08/16 17:56, Scott Linnebur wrote:
> > I have a suspicion that is the cause but I can’t test it.
> My key looks like this:
> $ gpg2 -k de500b3e
> pub   rsa2048/DE500B3E 2009-11-12 [C] [expires: 2017-10-19]
> uid         [ultimate] Peter Lebbing <peter at>
> sub   rsa2048/DE6CDCA1 2009-11-12 [S] [expires: 2017-10-19]
> sub   rsa2048/73A33BEE 2009-11-12 [E] [expires: 2017-10-19]
> sub   rsa2048/B65D8246 2009-12-05 [A] [expires: 2017-10-19]
> If something is encrypted to this key, gpg2 will mention the following:
> $ gpg2 test.gpg
> gpg: encrypted with 2048-bit RSA key, ID 73A33BEE, created 2009-11-12
>       "Peter Lebbing <peter at>"
> So it explicitly tells me that it was encrypted to the
> encryption-capable subkey 73A33BEE. If it tells you that it was
> encrypted to the primary key ID instead, I think your analysis is right.
> > I can’t find
> > anyway to force the primary key to encrypt
> I don't think it is possible to force a key to be used in a way that is
> not indicated as a capability for that key. If something encrypts to a
> key that is not encryption-capable, that seems to me to be a major bug.
> Subkeys and key capability flags have been around for practically
> forever by now. Software that can't deal with this is not OpenPGP
> compatible and probably ancient.
> > and I can’t figure out how to
> > generate a key pair without secondary keys in it.
> It's possible, but first lets take a look if there is a different
> solution. Keys that can both sign and encrypt are frowned upon. The
> primary key necessarily has the Certify capability, which is a form of
> signing. So it shouldn't get the Encrypt capability.
> HTH,
> Peter.
> --
> I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
> You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
> My key is available at <>
> _______________________________________________
> Gnupg-users mailing list
> Gnupg-users at
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