Today I am about to create a bunch of revocation certificates for all of my emails. Why? Because it already happened to me in the past, that I lost my private key, or my computer was compromised. It does not really matter, but I felt like it is better when you know. I will store it in a safe place, no worries.

Now, I have both GnuPG 1.4.16 and GnuPG 2.0.22 on my Linux machine installed. What version should I use to generate them? I am used to using version 1.4, but since there is a newer version, I can't think of any reason as to why would I not use the newer one. Or is there?

Anyway, I created the revocation certificate with both versions and they differ.

  • An additional hint: also create a revocation certificate for your public key, not only the user IDs. Actually, revocation certificates are pretty much useless if you've also got a revocation certificate for the whole key; revoking the key also revokes the user IDs on the go, and if you've still got access to the key you don't need pregenerated revocation certificates for the user IDs.
    – Jens Erat
    Apr 17, 2016 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


Both versions of GnuPG are compatible in the output they produce: they both implement RFC 4880, OpenPGP. They're even compatible in the keyring and trust database formats they're using.

GnuPG 2.1 supports some additional ciphers and has changes to the keyrings which might prevent using both older versions of GnuPG and GnuPG 2.1 (or in future: newer) at the same time (at least without hassles), but still revocations produced by GnuPG 2.1 are readable with GnuPG 1.4 and 2.0 with issues if the revoked key's cipher is supported by those (which is, as you mostly use it with GnuPG 1.4).

This is the relevant information on compatibility considering revocations, I wrote up a more complete discussion about Are GnuPG 1 and GnuPG 2 compatible with each other? and their differences on Super User.

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