I noticed that when looking at OpenPGP keys on a key server, the key's bits definition is usually followed by a letter, as in "4096D" for example. However, there are also keys with other letters than D, for example here are two keys with "D" and one with "R". There are also keys postfixed with a "g" , as seen here. What does that letter mean and how can I find out what is correct for my own key without uploading it to a keyserver?

I'm using GnuPG/MacGPG2 v2.0.

1 Answer 1


It indicates whether the key is DSA or RSA. You can read more about the differences between the two here.

You can determine which type your key is using gpg --list-keys at the CLI. I'm not sure what GUI you'd use on a Mac so I can't speak to that.

C:\>gpg --list-keys
pub   4096R/2C55AF0B 2014-10-28 [expires: 2017-10-27]
uid                  Gowen Fawr (gowenfawr) <[email protected]>
sub   4096R/6ADD2CE0 2014-10-28 [expires: 2017-10-27]
  • That's it - thanks four your answer. I used gpg --list-keys and found that my key is RSA. Jun 22, 2015 at 12:50

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