What's a "valid trust path"?

Richard Lynch lynch at cognitivearts.com
Wed Nov 11 00:07:29 CET 1998

I started by clearing out all my keys (secret too) that I was using just to
mess around and test my PHP/GPG interface.

I used 0.4.1 on Windoze to create a public/private key pair.

I exported the public key.

I imported it on the server which is using 0.4.2.

I simply want to use the public key to encrypt the data to send to its
owner, so I created no other keys.

When I attempt to use it:

echo 'test' | gpg -a -e -r 'webmaster'

I get:

Could not find a valid trust path to the key.  Let's see whether we
can assign some missing owner trust values.

No owner trust values changed.

It is NOT certain that the key belongs to its owner.
If you *really* know what you are doing, you may answer
the next question with yes

Use this key anyway? y

Alas, neither --yes nor --batch would bypass this. :-(

Things I tried:

Use --edit-key to trust the public key fully (level 4).

Create a bogus public-private key-pair on the server just so there's
something there to "appease" gpg into having somebody to send "from" even
though I don't care who it's from.  I just want to send it "to" somebody.

Blowing away the trustdb, pubring, secring files which, even after deleting
all my keys and secret keys, were non-zero size...  Seemed wrong to me.

--debug-all spewed all sorts of stuff.  The only obviously relevant info is
"trustlevel 0002".

It is quite certain that the key belongs to its owner.  *I* am the owner.
And, it's a public key which I'm using to encrypt a message to the owner of
that key.

So what exactly is a valid trust path, and how do I create one to a public
key when that's the only key (I think) I even want on my keyring?

Just when I think I've got this stuff figured out...  :-^

-- "TANSTAAFL" Rich lynch at cognitivearts.com     webmaster@  and www. all of:
R&B/jazz/blues/rock - jademaze.com        music industry org - chatmusic.com
acoustic/funk/world-beat - astrakelly.com     sculptures - olivierledoux.com
my own nascent company - l-i-e.com     cool coffeehouse - uncommonground.com

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