Yubikey: Unable to sign other people's public keys in GPG Keychain (to be tested w gpg 2.1)

bogdrakonov's Avatar


23 Jan, 2017 07:34 PM

GPG Keychain

When attempting to sign a public key in the GPG Keychain using a private key that is stored on a Yubikey 4 I get the following error:
Sign userID failed!
Code = 0

Error text:
gpg: secret key parts are not available
gpg: signing failed: Unusable secret key

What did you expect instead

I expected to be prompted for my Yubikey PIN and for the key to get signed.

Describe steps leading to the problem.

1) Attempt to sign a public key with my private key stored on a Yubikey 4
2) Above error occurs

  1. 1 Posted by Peter Nöu on 09 Feb, 2017 03:19 PM

    Peter Nöu's Avatar

    Same issue. cannot sign validity of other's public keys.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Steve on 15 Jun, 2017 10:53 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi bogdrakonov and Peter,

    welcome to the GPGTools support platform. Sorry you are having problems using GPG Suite.

    Please excuse the long silence. We think this issue may be resolved by switching to using gpg 2.1. We had hoped to have a GPG Suite with 2.1 ready a bit earlier, but now it's here.

    GPG Suite 1922n and newer include gpg 2.1.

    It would be great if you could test this build and let us know if run into any trouble. Please note, that downgrading to the current beta release will require additional steps in case new keys were created using this test build. Depending on the test results, gpg 2.1 may soon land in the beta branch.

    All the best,

  3. 3 Posted by bogdrakonov on 22 Jun, 2017 12:51 AM

    bogdrakonov's Avatar

    Thanks Steve.

    Will this allow Yubikey 4 to sign other public keys even though the SC key is offline and not on the machine? The Yubikey 4 only contains the S, E, and A subkeys.

  4. 4 Posted by bogdrakonov on 22 Jun, 2017 12:55 AM

    bogdrakonov's Avatar

    Oh your link just redirects to the main page.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Steve on 22 Jun, 2017 08:47 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi bogdrakonov,

    gpg 2.1 is now included in the nightly build which you can grab here:

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Could you test and see how Yubikey behaves in the scenario you are describing?

    All the best,

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Steve on 11 Aug, 2017 06:16 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Closing, since no further user feedback was received. Should your problem persist, feel free to re-open this discussion any time.

    All the best, steve

  7. Steve closed this discussion on 11 Aug, 2017 06:16 PM.

  8. bogdrakonov re-opened this discussion on 11 Aug, 2017 06:30 PM

  9. 7 Posted by bogdrakonov on 11 Aug, 2017 06:30 PM

    bogdrakonov's Avatar

    I did not get a request for comments. Just that this is closed.


    Ti ne mozhesh pobedit' menya

  10. Support Staff 8 Posted by Steve on 11 Aug, 2017 06:35 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Bog,

    on June 22nd I updated this discussion to let you know that we've integrated gpg 2.1 into the nightly build of GPG Suite:

    It would be great if you could test that build and see how your Yubikey behaves then.


  11. 9 Posted by bogdrakonov on 11 Aug, 2017 07:11 PM

    bogdrakonov's Avatar

    Oh neat! I'll be sure to give that a shot in a Sierra VM.



    Vy ne mozhete razgrom menya

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