GnuPG 2.1 how to delete card based secret key ?

Peter Lebbing peter at
Tue Feb 9 11:38:39 CET 2016

On 05/02/16 19:51, Oleg Gurevich wrote:
> ... to delete key from the keyring

It doesn't work for me either. Your error message is a lot more
descriptive, though. I just get:

> $ gpg2 --delete-secret-keys de500b3e
> gpg (GnuPG) 2.1.11; Copyright (C) 2016 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.
> gpg: key "de500b3e" not found
> gpg: de500b3e: delete key failed: Not found

I can delete the public key; then the secret key is not listed anymore
either. When I re-import my public key, it will instantly remember the
card as well, so it was there all along :). I do need to set my trust
again (not a surprise).

But anyway... it's usually harmless, since all it is, is a note that if
you need the secret key, it is located on card X. It will then prompt
you to insert card X. There is nothing secret on the disk of the
computer (unless you consider the fact you use a card and its serial
number as a secret).

So I'd suggest you let it be if you don't consider your card and serial
number a secret.



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 <>

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