When displaying the full fingerprint of an OpenPGP key, it get a completely different one compared to the ID.

For this specific key:

$ gpg --list-keys --fingerprint D72AF3448CC2B034
pub   rsa4096 2017-02-09 [SC] [verfällt: 2027-02-07]
      F554 A368 7412 CFFE BDEF  E0A3 12F5 F7B4 2F2B 01E7
uid        [ unbekannt ] OpenVPN - Security Mailing List <[email protected]>
sub   rsa4096 2017-02-09 [E] [verfällt: 2018-03-06]
sub   rsa4096 2017-02-09 [S] [verfällt: 2018-03-06]

For other keys, the fingerprint matches the ID, just as expected:

$ gpg --list-keys --fingerprint 57DB9DAB613B8DA1
pub   rsa4096 2016-08-23 [SC] [verfällt: 2026-08-21]
      7ACD 56B7 4144 925C 6214  3297 57DB 9DAB 613B 8DA1
uid        [ unbekannt ] David Sommerseth (OpenVPN Technologies, Inc) <[email protected]>
uid        [ unbekannt ] David Sommerseth (OpenVPN Technologies, Inc) <[email protected]>
uid        [ unbekannt ] David Sommerseth (OpenVPN mailing list ID) <[email protected]>
sub   rsa4096 2016-08-23 [E] [verfällt: 2026-08-21]
sub   rsa4096 2016-08-23 [S] [verfällt: 2021-08-22]

Is this normal? Can anyone explain to me, why the fingerprint is completely different?

3 Answers 3


GnuPG generally resolves subkeys to the primary key if a subkey is passed as argument. This might be especially surprising when specifying an encryption subkey: GnuPG resolves the subkey to the primary key, and might actually choose another subkey for encryption (selecting the newest encryption subkey).

For listing a key, this is always performed, for some operations like encryption you can append ! to the subkey's ID (ie. D72AF3448CC2B034) to explicitly select this key and disable the primary key lookup.

To display subkey fingerprints on the command line, apply the --with-subkey-fingerprints option:

$ gpg --list-keys --with-subkey-fingerprints D72AF3448CC2B034
pub   rsa4096/0x12F5F7B42F2B01E7 2017-02-09 [SC] [expires: 2027-02-07]
uid            [ unknown] OpenVPN - Security Mailing List <[email protected]>
sub   rsa4096/0xF80E8008F6D9F8D7 2017-02-09 [E] [expires: 2018-03-06]
sub   rsa4096/0xD72AF3448CC2B034 2017-02-09 [S] [expires: 2018-03-06]

This must be the command that you are looking for:

gpg --list-secret-keys -keyid-format=long --with-keygrip --with-subkey-fingerprints -vvv
  • can you explain (with an edit) why you need each of these options, like @jens-erat did originally for the `--with-subkey-fingerprints' option.. (especially since options an change there name, but with the explanation, you can figure out which one it became easier.
    – LvB
    Jun 28, 2023 at 12:53
  • @LvB just type man gpg Jun 29, 2023 at 16:13
  • great, and what to do when in a year or so, the option is not present in the man? Anwsers should be "evergold" (as in useful even after the application has changed) it would also elevate your awnser from "violating standards" to "a decent awnser",,,,
    – LvB
    Jun 29, 2023 at 17:47

Apparently, D72AF3448CC2B034 is a subkey, with E0A312F5F7B42F2B01E7 beeing the corresponding master key. However, gpg does not print fingerprints of subkeys. I had to use the enigmail gui tool to verify this.

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