Video Screencast Help

PGP command line import key: 3090 operation failed, unknow error

Created: 09 Mar 2012 | 8 comments

I have a key from PGP Desktop 10 and I can't import to PGP command line 9.6 with the following error. Pls help!!

pgp:import key (3090:operation failed, unknown error)

Comments 8 CommentsJump to latest comment

dfinkelstein's picture

I'm sorry you're having this problem.

So, you have a key you have exported from PGP Desktop 10, and it will not import into PGP Command Line 9.6?

What operating system and version are you using when running PGP Command Line?

What version exactly of PGP Desktop are you running?

Is this a public key only, or a key pair (public and private portions)?  If it is a public key, are you willing to attach it here? 

Is the key block ascii armored?

Was the key generated in PGP Desktop 10, or did it come from somewhere else?  If from somewhere else, do you know what software originally generated the key?

Do other operations work properly with PGP Command Line?  E.g. can you generate a new key, export that key (or key pair, if you are trying to import a key pair), delete the key, and re-import what you exported?



David Finkelstein

Symantec R&D

Ben Wong's picture


Yes, I have a key exported from PGP Desktop 10.0.0 and can't import to command line 9.6 with error "pgp:import key (3090:operation failed, unknown error)". I generate a new key from command line 9.6, export it, delete new key and I can import the it to command line success without any error. I beleive that command line is work fine. Command Line is running on WInXP sp2.

Public Key attached for investigate. Pls advise. Thanks! 

Patrick 1.87 KB
dfinkelstein's picture

(Unrelated, I note that the key was exported from PGP Desktop 9.10.)

This is a bug of some sort in PGP Command Line 9.6.  I can't tell you exactly what the problem is.  We have no record of this specific issue in our bug database.

The problem does not occur with PGP Command Line 9.7 or later.


David Finkelstein

Symantec R&D

Julian_M's picture

Have you imported signing key to local keyring?

what if you run --verbose?

When you consider the issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the post that best provided the solution.

Ben Wong's picture

C:\>pgp --import new.asc --verbose --debug
Warning: PGPsdk running in local mode.
pgp:import key (3157:current local time 2012-03-30T09:51:56+08:00)
C:\Documents and Settings\aig_admin\My Documents\PGP\pubring.pkr:open keyrings (
1006:public keyring)
C:\Documents and Settings\aig_admin\My Documents\PGP\secring.skr:open keyrings (
1007:private keyring)
pgp:import key (3090:operation failed, unknown error)

dfinkelstein's picture

First, I notice that PGP Command Line is running in local mode.  This is possibly a symptom of a bug that existed in version 9.6 build 176.  There was an update to 9.6 (build 180) that addressed a problem with the SDK service crashing.

But I don't think that is related to your key import problem.  As I mentioned, the key doesn't seem to import into PGP Command Line 9.6, but it does in 9.7.  I don't know of any workaround for you.  You'll need to upgrade to a later version.



David Finkelstein

Symantec R&D

New Comer 2011's picture

Please check the key properties that exported from PGP 10.

I wonder the key type or key 1024 is not supportted in PGP 9.