Deleting uids from a public key

Neil Williams linux at
Sat Jun 19 15:12:04 CEST 2004

On Saturday 19 June 2004 2:35, Cory Donnelly wrote:
> I'm attempting to delete an out-of-date uid/e-mail address from my
> public key.  The deleting part is simple, 

Deletion only works for local keys, keys that are already on keyservers should 
have old UID's revoked instead.

> keyservers however don't seem 
> to recognize the change.

Keyservers only ever add details, never subtract. Once a key is on a 
keyserver, it remains available for as long as keyservers continue to 
synchronise.  This is why anything on your key that is out-of-date should be 

> I'm comfortable using deluid to remove a uid from my key, but I'm
> concerned that after doing so gpg doesn't ask for my password.  

I can delete a UID from your key with no need for secret keys or passphrases - 
it'll just re-appear as soon as the key is refreshed. Subkeys are different, 
but UID's can be deleted by anyone, anytime. There's little point in doing so 
if the key came from a keyserver in the first place.

> When I 
> view my key with 'gpg --list-secret-keys' the second uid and associated
> e-mail address are gone, but when I export my public key and send it off
> to (either using the web interface or 'gpg
> --send-key') the uid doesn't seem to get removed.

Keyservers don't remove, they merge the incoming data with any existing data. 
The only things that can change your key once on a keyserver are new 
signatures, new UID's, revoked UID's, revoked sigs and revocation 
certificates for the key itself.

> Any ideas?


Neil Williams
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: signature
Url : /pipermail/attachments/20040619/ccb8de7f/attachment.bin

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list