Un-revoking a key pair

Peter S. May me at psmay.com
Fri Apr 6 17:09:27 CEST 2007

John B wrote:
>   Somehow the other night I accidently imported a revoking thing for my main 
> secret and public key pair when I was using kgpg. Kgpg tells me I need to 
> un-revoke it in the manual editor, so, could someone tell me a quick and easy 
> way to do so, please? Is it possible to un-revoke?

Actually, you're technically not supposed to be able to un-revoke a key,
but as long as the revocation certificate generated hasn't been made
public (sent to other people, uploaded to a keyserver, or otherwise
posted) it should be possible to make a copy of the key, remove the
revocation information from that copy, then remove all knowledge of the
key from your keychain and import the non-revoked version back in.  What
you'd be doing isn't really un-revoking the key--you're just convincing
gpg that it was never revoked in the first place.  If gpg doesn't know
it was revoked, and none of the public keyservers know it was revoked,
and nobody else in the world knows it was revoked, then it was
effectively never revoked.  Nice, eh?

Incidentally, if your revocation certificate was made public in any way,
you'll have to generate and use a new key.  Sorry--these are the breaks.

Anyway, I was going to explain how to do it, but David Shaw just did. :-)

Good luck

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