I'm new to cryptography so please bear with me.

If I create 2048-bit keys and export security key to file key.gpg (so without ASCII armor), I get a file with size of 1.28 kB.

If I understand it correctly, the 2048-bit key means a random string of ones and zeros with a length of 2048 characters. So why the filesize is so different?

If I export security key to key.asc (with ASCII armor) and then decode the actually key part with base64 to binary decoder, I get a string of ones and zeros with 20856 characters.

What am I missing and how can I view the actually security key in ones and zeros?

1 Answer 1


There's a lot more in a PGP key certificate than just the key. There's the user, the date it was created, the expiration date, the preferred algorithms, etc.

This link has some good info.

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