13

I would like to delete an OpenPGP subkey of mine on Linux (L)Ubuntu 16.04 in GnuPG. It's a kind of "blank" useless key (see below key 33333333). I have not uploaded it to key servers, so I think it's ok to delete without revoking it.

gpg2 --edit-key me@example.com

sec  rsa4096/11111111
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: SC  
     confiance : ultime        validity: ultimate
ssb  rsa4096/22222222
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: E   
ssb  rsa4096/33333333
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: never       usage:     
ssb  rsa4096/44444444
     créé : 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: S   
[  ultimate ] (1). me <me@example.com>

I tried "gpg> delkey 33333333", but I had this message :

You must select at least one key.
(Use the 'key' command.)

then gpg> key 33333333, and I had this result (same result as list command):

sec  rsa4096/11111111
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: SC  
     confiance : ultime        validity: ultimate
ssb  rsa4096/22222222
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: E   
ssb  rsa4096/33333333
     created: 2016-12-12  expires: never       usage:     
ssb  rsa4096/44444444
     créé : 2016-12-12  expires: 2017-12-12  usage: S   
[  ultimate ] (1). me <me@example.com>

What should I do next?

  • 1
    On the Linux command line (and in general), you can get English language outpuut for pretty much all applications by prefixing LANG=C, eg. LANG=C gpg2 --edit-key .... Alternatively, "switch" a shell to English language by running export LANG=C. – Jens Erat Oct 6 '16 at 21:51
15

GnuPG's interactive --edit-key menu works differently. You do not select a subkey by key [subkey-id], but by key [key-index], in your case this would be key 2 (the second subkey from the top, the primary key doesn't count).

After doing so, the line

ssb  rsa4096/33333333

will change to

ssb* rsa4096/33333333

with an asterisk indicating the key being selected. After selecting one or more keys, run delkey to delete the selected subkeys. Don't forget to save!

  • Thanks a lot. I had not seen the asterisk thing before. Thank you ! PS : key-index number was 2, not 3 (I could not select the first "sec" key). – etn Oct 7 '16 at 11:19
  • You're right, I should have only counted the subkeys. If this answered your question, consider selecting the checkmark on the left (also have a look at the FAQ). – Jens Erat Oct 7 '16 at 12:04
  • wow that was unintuitive. I kept selecting by key-id. – arviman Aug 29 '17 at 11:39

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