GPL'd OpenPGP Keyserver

Werner Koch wk at
Mon Feb 19 18:01:06 CET 2001


On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, V. Alex Brennen wrote:

> working on keyservers or other openPGP code which could benefit 
> from this topic of discussion.

Sure, you should also post this to keyserver-folks at which
is the keyserver admins list.  They are very intersted in this.

> I'm writing an openPGP (RFC2440) compliant keyserver.  I really
> should say "I've written", as I've nearly completed the project.


> including RDBMS ties to increase speed, better key handling,
> socket based syncing with other keyservers (rather than POP
> email based), etc...

All the things I had in mind :-)

> way in which programs like GnuPG retrieve keys from the keyserver.
> In my keyserver design, the primary key in the db schema is the
> fingerprint of the key.  Therefor, I plan to support queries from

That is a good decision.  It might be worth to store the fingerprint
reversed, so that you can also use a v4 keyID.

> command line programs by fingerprint, (16) keyid and (8) keyid.
> It would be nice to have gpg support use of the fingerprint and
> full keyid to retrieve keys.

It has.  Have a close look at the man page and you should find it.
But if will work more even if you don't know the designed syntax:
32 or 40 hex digits mark a fingerprint, 16 a long key ID and 8 the
normal keyID.  You are allowed to prefix it with a "0x".

> Also, I was playing with the idea of dropping the HTTP protocol
> for the socket based communications.  Although I'm leaning 

The HKS protocol is not very effizient, it might even be worth to
use binary mode.

> Finally,  thanks for writing gnupg.  I found the gnupg code 
> incredibly easy to read and understand.  I even used some of


> No source code is posted yet as the keyserver doesn't actually
> exist yet, but I hope to make a beta release in the second week

Please tell us if you have something available.

The current keyservers are either a mess or proprietary.



Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit, dum habetur
et non datur, nondum habetur, quomodo habenda est.
                                      -- Augustinus

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