New in GPG KEY Problem

Sven Radde sven at
Tue Jan 9 17:52:19 CET 2007


If you have *completely lost* the private key, you are screwed. Only the
public key is stored on keyservers and obviously, one cannot recover the
private key from that.

Without access to the private key, you cannot even designate the public
key on the keyserver as invalid (everyone could make such a request). I
assume that you did not create a revocation certificate (or at least,
that you formatted it along with the private key).

The passphrase does not help you at all, as it is only used to encrypt
the file containing the private key on your local harddisk. Without the
file, the passphrase is useless.

Take it as a lesson to make backups of important things from now on ;-/
GnuPG keyrings are very small and can easily go on USB drives, floppy
disks, your mobile phone or whatever. You could even *print* them on paper.

btw, would be cool to have GnuPG generate a special text output format
for the purpose of hardcopy-archiving. It could include additional
redundancy / parity information that makes recovering from typing / OCR
errors easier.
The ASCII output apparently already has some CRC information embedded,
but I am not sure whether that is able to give more information beyond
"incorrect data". Something like line-checksums to get "error in line
xy" would be nice.
I realize that this is a rare use-case, though, so don't take this
request too serious ;-)

cu, Sven

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