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decrypt(1) Sequoia Manual decrypt(1)


decrypt - Decrypts a message


decrypt [-o|--output] [-n|--signatures] [--signer-cert] [--recipient-key] [--private-key-store] [--dump-session-key] [--session-key] [--dump] [-x|--hex] [-h|--help] [FILE]


Decrypts a message

Decrypts a message using either supplied keys, or by prompting for a password. If message tampering is detected, an error is returned. See below for details.

If certificates are supplied using the "--signer-cert" option, any signatures that are found are checked using these certificates. Verification is only successful if there is no bad signature, and the number of successfully verified signatures reaches the threshold configured with the "--signatures" parameter.

If the signature verification fails, or if message tampering is detected, the program terminates with an exit status indicating failure. In addition to that, the last 25 MiB of the message are withheld, i.e. if the message is smaller than 25 MiB, no output is produced, and if it is larger, then the output will be truncated.

The converse operation is "sq encrypt".


Writes to FILE or stdout if omitted
Sets the threshold of valid signatures to N. The message will only be considered verified if this threshold is reached. [default: 1 if at least one signer cert file is given, 0 otherwise]
Verifies signatures with CERT
Decrypts with KEY
Provides parameters for private key store
Prints the session key to stderr
Decrypts an encrypted message using SESSION-KEY
Prints a packet dump to stderr
Prints a hexdump (implies --dump)
Print help information
Reads from FILE or stdin if omitted


Decrypt a file using a secret key

sq decrypt --recipient-key juliet.pgp ciphertext.pgp

Decrypt a file verifying signatures

sq decrypt --recipient-key juliet.pgp --signer-cert romeo.pgp ciphertext.pgp

Decrypt a file using a password

sq decrypt ciphertext.pgp


For the full documentation see <>.

sq(1) sq-armor(1) sq-autocrypt(1) sq-certify(1) sq-dearmor(1) sq-encrypt(1) sq-inspect(1) sq-key(1) sq-keyring(1) sq-keyserver(1) sq-packet(1) sq-revoke(1) sq-sign(1) sq-verify(1) sq-wkd(1)

July 2022 sq 0.26.0