GPG Certification Key

TL;DR

TIL about Key Certification in OpenPGP.

So… it was probably clear to most, but I just figured that in OpenPGP only the main “root” key can be used to sign other keys. In other terms, subkeys can not be used for this.

This is made clear in section 12.1:

In a V4 key, the primary key MUST be a key capable of certification. The subkeys may be keys of any other type. […]

This also means that in a “split” setup where the master “main” private key is kept secret somewhere offline, and only subkeys are used around, signing received public keys must be done… offline, where the master key with the C (key certification) capability enabled.

Stay safe and… certified!


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