I cryptographed a file using gpg -c --cipher-algo BLOWFISH. Obviously I use gpg -d to decrypt it.

But my question is, if I want to decrypt this file without GPG, is it possible? What is the file format of the file generated by gpg? Is it some kind of standard? Is this file format the same in other applications?

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is possible to decrypt using an OpenPGP compliant program. The gpg FAQ states

it is aimed to be compatible with PGP from PGP Corp. and other OpenPGP tools

The OpenPGP standard is described in RFC 4880. Section 4 describes the packet format. To be compatible with the standard all implementations have to use the same format.

Note that there are some incompatibilities between implementations. Some implementations don't support features available in other implementations, so a file encrypted with one application can't be decrypted with another. This section of the FAQ has details on using GPG and PGP together.

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