[Gpg4win-users-en] Private and Public Keys and their Extensions

L LSmok3 at riseup.net
Fri Jul 10 19:49:08 CEST 2015

I'm afraid, having got to the point where I start to mess around with
key generation, that I have run into a mire.
The problem involves the concept of public/private/secret keys and their
identification. I see that key generation, of which I can find only one
basic process (I am using command line, but the process should carry for
GUI), generates two keys (in command line, contrary to any statements I
have found online, named using the forty-character or so fingerprint,
unhelpfully), which will resolve in Gpg as "pub" and "sub" respectively.
Someone else referred to private keys resolving as "sec" and "ssb" but I
can find no mention of this in manuals nor any means to create them.
Which of these is my public and which my private key? I find no
distinction made in a single document I have read online, and these
happily gloss over the discrepancy, referring to this process as
creating private keys and then deciding one of them is public,
apparently the subkey.
If I encrypt using any one of these keys, attempting to decrypt
complains of no secret key. So how do I create one?

Thanks for any clarity I have not been able to get from any of the
manuals or docs I have consulted.

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