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Is it a GPG key or a PGP key? Or do you just use gpg to produce the pgp key?

I see them used together, and its just a tad bit confusing. What do they stand for?

marked as duplicate by Thomas Ward, Seth Oct 1 '14 at 23:22

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In the beginning (1991), there was PGP (= Pretty Good Privacy). It was an encryption software that could not be used outside the USA, due to export restrictions.

When the software finally became available internationally, it became a de-facto standard which later evolved into RFC 2440 (and RFC 4880 subsequently).

GPG (= GNU Privacy Guard) implements said RFCs and as such, is able to use PGP keys.


The standard is "PGP" and the key is called a PGP key.

GPG stands for GnuPG, which is Gnu's implementation of the Open PGP standard.

"GPG Key" and "PGP Key" are effectively the same thing.

  • So it it technically GPGP key? Gnu PGP? – Akiva Oct 1 '14 at 22:25
  • @Akiva No, it's called either "GPG Key" or "PGP Key". It's identically the same, the industry still calls them "PGP keys" for the most part. – Thomas Ward Oct 1 '14 at 22:26
  • @Akiva note that your question is a duplicate of another question that already exists and is answered and I've flagged your question accordingly. Its answer is a lot more better than mine. – Thomas Ward Oct 1 '14 at 22:27
  • Sort of a duplicate. So what does PGP stand for? – Akiva Oct 1 '14 at 22:27
  • @Akiva it IS a duplicate, 100% guarantee. Read the other questino – Thomas Ward Oct 1 '14 at 22:28

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