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This is OpenPGP file parser written in python. It will dump the packet contents of a PGP/GPG formatted file to a series of json-formatted objects. These json objects are much easier to explore and import into various data analysis tools and databases. This library is able to parse the entire sks-keyserver pool of public keys.

Table of contents

How to use

Command line

$ python --help
usage: [-h] [-m] file [file ...]

Output a pgp file's packets into rows of json-formatted objects.

NOTE: Each row of output is a json object, but the whole output'
itself is not a json list.

Add the --merge-public-keys (-m) to roll up public keys. This is
helpful if you are working with a dumped keyserver database that
is just a huge list of concatenated packets (public keys,
signatures, subkeys, etc.).

python /home/me/
python --merge-public-keys "/tmp/dump*.pgp" | gzip > pubkeys.json

positional arguments:
  file                  the pgp file(s)

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -m, --merge-public-keys
                        roll up public key packets

Python library

$ gpg --recv-key A5452207
$ gpg --export A5452207 > /tmp/
$ python
Python 2.7.6 (default, Mar 22 2014, 22:59:56)
[GCC 4.8.2] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from openpgp import OpenPGPFile
>>> f = open("/tmp/")
>>> packets = OpenPGPFile(f)
>>> print [p['tag_name'] for p in packets]
['Public-Key', 'User ID', 'Signature', 'Signature', 'Signature', 'Public-Subkey', 'Signature']

Output formats

NOTE: These formats are the raw python dictionary formats. When using the command line, these are converted to json.

Public-Key and Public-Subkey Packets

    #standard packet values
    "packet_format": 0 or 1,
    "packet_start": 0,
    "packet_raw": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef...",
    "tag_id": 6, #14 if subkey
    "tag_name": "Public-Key", #"Public-Subkey" if subkey
    "body_start": 0,
    "body_len": 123,

    #errors (if any)
    "error": True,
    "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

    #public key packet values
    "key_id": "deadbeefdeadbeef",
    "fingerprint": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef",
    "version": 3 or 4,
    "algo_id": 1,
    "algo_name": "RSA (Encrypt or Sign)",
    "creation_time": 1234567890,
    "valid_days": 30, #version 3 only

    #public key for openssl verification
    #(e.g. openssl dgst -sha1 -verify <this_pem> -signature <signature> <data>)
    "pem": "-----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY-----\n...\n-----END PUBLIC KEY-----",

    #RSA specific (algo_ids 1, 2, 3)
    "n": "deadbeef", #RSA public modulus n
    "e": "deadbeef", #RSA public encryption exponent e

    #Elgamal specific (algo_ids 16, 20)
    "p": "deadbeef", #Elgamal prime p
    "g": "deadbeef", #Elgamal group generator g

    #DSA specific (algo_id 17)
    "p": "deadbeef", #DSA prime p
    "q": "deadbeef", #DSA group order q (q is a prime divisor of p-1)
    "g": "deadbeef", #DSA group generator g
    "y": "deadbeef", #DSA public-key value y (= g**x mod p where x is secret)

    #ECDH specific (algo_id 18)

    #ECDSA specific (algo_id 19)
    "curve": "P-256", #(P-256|P-384|P-521)
    "x": "deadbeef",
    "y": "deadbeef",

    #packets (if the -m flag was passed in the command line)
    "packets": [...], #list of rolled up public key packets

Signature Packets

    #standard packet values
    "packet_format": 0 or 1,
    "packet_start": 0,
    "packet_raw": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef...",
    "tag_id": 2,
    "tag_name": "Signature",
    "body_start": 5,
    "body_len": 423,

    #errors (if any)
    "error": True,
    "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

    #signature packet values
    "version": 3 or 4,
    "signature_type_id": 16,
    "signature_type_name": "Generic certification of a User ID and Public-Key packet",
    "data": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef",
    "hash": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef",
    "hash_check": "dead",
    "hash_algo_id": 8,
    "hash_algo_name": "SHA256",
    "pubkey_algo_id": 1,
    "pubkey_algo_name": "RSA (Encrypt or Sign)",

    #RSA specific (algo_ids 1, 3)
    "signature": "deadbeefdeadbeef",

    #DSA and ECDSA specific (algo_id 17)
    "signature_r": "deadbeefdeadbeef",
    "signature_s": "deadbeefdeadbeef",
    "signature": "deadbeefdeadbeef", #ASN.1 signature for openssl verification

    #version 3 specific values
    "creation_time": 1234567890,
    "key_id": "deadbeefdeadbeef",

    #version 4 specific values
    "subpackets": [
            #standard subpacket values (i.e. always included)
            "type_id": 2,
            "type_name": "Signature Creation Time",
            "critical": True or False,
            "hashed": True or False,

            #errors (if any)
            "error": True,
            "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

            #Signature Creation Time specific (type_id 2)
            "creation_time": 1234567890,

            #Signature Expiration Time specific (type_id 3)
            "expiration_time": 1234567890,

            #Exportable Certification specific (type_id 4)
            "exportable": True or False,

            #Trust Signature specific (type_id 5)
            "level": 1,
            "amount": 255,

            #Regular Expression specific (type_id 6)
            "regex": "abc*",

            #Revocable specific (type_id 7)
            "revocable": True or False,

            #Key Expiration Time specific (type_id 9)
            "expiration_time": 1234567890,

            #Preferred Symmetric Algorithms specific (type_id 11)
            "algos": [1, 2, 3, ...],

            #Revocation Key specific (type_id 12)
            "sensitive": True or False,
            "pubkey_algo": 1,
            "fingerprint": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef",

            #Issuer specific (type_id 16)
            "key_id": "deadbeefdeadbeef",

            #Notation Data specific (type_id 20)
            "human_readable": True or False,
            "name": "<string>",
            "value": "<string>",

            #Preferred Hash Algorithms specific (type_id 21)
            "algos": [1, 2, 3, ...],

            #Preferred Compression Algorithms specific (type_id 22)
            "algos": [1, 2, 3, ...],

            #Key Server Preferences specific (type_id 23)
            "no_modify": True or False,

            #Preferred Key Server specific (type_id 24)
            "keyserver": "",

            #Primary User ID specific (type_id 25)
            "is_primary": True or False,

            #Policy URI specific (type_id 26)
            "uri": "",

            #Key Flags specific (type_id 27)
            "can_certify": True or False,
            "can_sign": True or False,
            "can_encrypt_communication": True or False,
            "can_encrypt_storage": True or False,
            "can_authenticate": True or False,
            "private_might_be_split": True or False,
            "private_might_be_shared": True or False,

            #Signer's User ID specific (type_id 28)
            "user_id": "John Doe (johndoe1234) <>",

            #Reason for Revocation specific (type_id 29)
            "code_id": 1,
            "code_name": "Key is superseded",
            "reason": "<string>",

            #Features specific (type_id 30)
            "modification_detection": True or False,

            #Signature Target specific (type_id 31)
            "hash": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef",
            "hash_algo": 8,
            "pubkey_algo": 1,

            #Embedded Signature specific (type_id 32)
            "signature": {...}, #nested signature dict

User ID Packets

    #standard packet values
    "packet_format": 0 or 1,
    "packet_start": 0,
    "packet_raw": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef...",
    "tag_id": 6,
    "tag_name": "User ID",
    "body_start": 0,
    "body_len": 123,

    #errors (if any)
    "error": True,
    "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

    #User ID specific fields
    "user_id": "John Doe (johndoe1234) <>",

User Attribute Packets

    #standard packet values
    "packet_format": 0 or 1,
    "packet_start": 0,
    "packet_raw": "deadbeefdeadbeefdeadbeef...",
    "tag_id": 17,
    "tag_name": "User Attribute",
    "body_start": 0,
    "body_len": 123,

    #errors (if any)
    "error": True,
    "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

    #User Attribute specific fields
    "subpackets": [
            #standard subpacket values
            "type_id": 1,
            "type_name": "Image",

            #errors (if any)
            "error": True,
            "error_msg": ["Error msg 1", "Error msg 2"],

            #image specific values
            "version": 1,
            "encoding": "JPEG",
            "image": "<base64_encoded_image>",


OpenSSL Signature Verification

One of the goals of this project is to be able to verify signatures using only openssl. You can do this by dumping the public key pem key to a file, the signature hex to a file, and the signature data to a file.

NOTE: This currently only works with DSA and RSA keys.

Here's an example of verifying my self-signature on my first user id:

$ gpg --recv-key 72EFEE3D
$ gpg --export 72EFEE3D > test.asc
$ python -m test.asc > test.json
Parsing test.asc...Done
Dumping public keys...Done
$ python -c 'import sys,json; sys.stdout.write(json.loads(open("test.json").read())["pem"])' >
$ python -c 'import sys,json; sys.stdout.write(json.loads(open("test.json").read())["packets"][1]["data"].decode("hex"))' >
$ python -c 'import sys,json; sys.stdout.write(json.loads(open("test.json").read())["packets"][1]["signature"].decode("hex"))' > test.sig
$ openssl dgst -sha1 -verify -signature test.sig
Verified OK

Keyserver dump

This is how you can load a keyserver dump into elasticsearch.

mkdir ~/opengpg-python
cd ~/openpgp-python
wget >

#download the latest keyserver dump
mkdir ~/dump
cd ~/dump
wget -c -r -p -e robots=off --timestamping --level=1 --cut-dirs=3 \

#Parse keyserver dump to json gzip files (split every 1000 lines)
ls -1 ~/dump/*.pgp | \
xargs -I % sh -c "python ~/openpgp-python/ --merge-public-keys '%' | \
split -l 1000 -d --filter 'gzip -9 > $FILE.gz' - '%.json.'"

#Bulk index each gzip file into elasticsearch
ls -1 ~/dump/*.json.*.gz | \
xargs -I % sh -c "zcat '%' | \
sed '0~1 s/^/{ \"index\" : { \"_index\" : \"keyserver1\", \"_type\" : \"key\" } }\n/' | \
curl -X POST --data-binary @- http://localhost:9200/_bulk | \
{ cat -; echo ''; } >> ~/results.log"


I'd love pull requests adding support for unsupported packets types. I'd also love pull requests adding tests. File bug reports and feature requests in the issue tracker. Thanks!