how long should a gpg --import of 886 users take?

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Fri Sep 24 21:58:00 CEST 2010

I just started with a clean gpg homedir, imported one key (my own), and
then imported the full keyring of all debian developers:

 mkdir -m 0700 test
 export GNUPGHOME=test
 gpg --keyserver ( --recv D21739E9
 gpg --import < /usr/share/keyrings/debian-keyring.gpg

this last step imports 886 keys.  gpg then processes for a *long* time
before returning control to the calling shell.

Overall, the process consumed over 3 hours of CPU time on a 900MHz
Celeron (it took more than 3 hours by clock time  because i was trying
to use the machine for other work concurrently).  Less than half of that
was during the import step (that is, before the "Total number processed:
886" line was emitted).

This is a reasonably interconnected set of keys, but 3 hours of CPU
seems like a really long time.  Should i expect that?

This is with gnupg 1.4.10-4 and debian-keyring 2010.06.08, if anyone
cares to try to replicate the results.  If you do, i doubt my initial
one-key import is relevant, but i don't feel like trying the whole thing
over again right now because i need my CPU back :)


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