I lost my public key! :(

David Shaw dshaw@jabberwocky.com
Wed Oct 23 05:33:02 2002

On Tue, Oct 22, 2002 at 09:19:34PM -0400, trena wrote:

> I have the secret key and my passphrase. Now how do I unencrypt the
> filesystem? I tried re-creating my keys and replacing the secret key with
> my old version from the floppy, but that doesn't work because the key IDs
> don't match. Can I edit the ID somehow in the new public key so it will
> work? Other ideas?

Unlike many "lost key" situations, you're not completely out of luck.
All OpenPGP secret keys have a copy of the public key inside them, and
in a worst-case scenario, you can create yourself a new public key
using the secret key.  Some versions of PGP, in fact, do this
automatically when you import a secret key.

Did you (or someone else) send your public key to a keyserver?  If so,
you can probably retrieve a copy from there.


   David Shaw  |  dshaw@jabberwocky.com  |  WWW http://www.jabberwocky.com/
   "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