key generation: email-address necessary?

David Shaw dshaw at
Fri Feb 26 21:42:11 CET 2010

On Feb 26, 2010, at 1:34 PM, Martin Bretschneider wrote:

> Hi,
> I want to recreate my GnuPG keys. My question is if I can omit the email 
> address? Since I do not want my email addresses to appear on the 
> keyservers because of spammers and so on. I only want to put my name and 
> maybe my toplevel domain in the comment field.
> Is the some kind of problem with this behavoir? Can email clients find 
> out what key to use if there is no known email address?

There is no problem with this from the crypto or GnuPG/OpenPGP or keyserver perspective.  They don't care what the user ID field is, and whether it contains a name, an email address, or both.

But: as you note, this can be a problem for some email clients, which tend to try and locate keys via an email address in the user ID field.  If you're willing to forego that piece of functionality, then it generally can be made to work via manual configuration for that key.


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