Key server Q

David Shaw dshaw at
Mon Aug 5 23:15:41 CEST 2002

On Mon, Aug 05, 2002 at 12:41:49PM +0200, Simon Josefsson wrote:
> Would it be possible for the keyserver code in GnuPG to not only send
> the KeyID to the keyserver plugins, but also the user ID?
> A solution could be to allow plugins to send back
> OPTION uid
> to GnuPG, which would make GnuPG then use key lines such as:
> 12341234 foo at
> The reason is that I'd want the DNS keyserver client to lookup
> (, IN, CERT) in a case like this.

I thought we had discussed using CNAMEs for this sort of thing
( CNAME ?  Or is this as a backup to
that method?  The difficulty here is that GnuPG very often knows the
user ID or the key ID, but not both.

For example, during a --recv-keys GnuPG knows the key ID but does not
know the user ID since the key is not present yet, so there is no way
to look it up.  During a --search-keys, GnuPG knows the user ID but
not the key ID, also since the key is not present yet.

It is possible to send the user ID during a --refresh-keys and a
--send-keys.  In those cases, the key is present during the keyserver
operation, so the user ID can be looked up and provided to the
keyserver plugin.  Would that still be useful to you?

Which user ID should be used for keys with multiple user IDs?  The
primary one?  All of them?

   12341234 foo at foo at foo at foo at ...

> An ugly idea for doing this would be to have the OpenPGP message
> reader look for From: lines before the actual OpenPGP header, and
> snarf the address.  Of course, there is no guarantees that there is a
> From: header or that it corresponds to the actual OpenPGP originator,
> but it would be Good Enough for many common cases, I think.  Perhaps
> there is a better way?

Unless the message is signed or has some other way of giving the key
ID, this might be the best way to do it (and then pass the from email
address to --search-keys).  It would be nice if there was one official
version of the many different "x-pgp-keys:" headers, so it could be
easily parsed.  Perhaps we should write one.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw at  |  WWW
   "There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
      We don't believe this to be a coincidence." - Jeremy S. Anderson

More information about the Gnupg-devel mailing list