David Shaw dshaw at
Sun Mar 21 01:57:04 CET 2010

On Mar 20, 2010, at 6:50 PM, Allen Schultz wrote:

> I know this keeps coming up. But what is the best server out there to grab 
> keys from users on this list. There are a few of you I don't have keys for.

The easy answer is that is doesn't matter.  With few exceptions, you can think of the keyserver world as having only two servers: "", and "everybody else".  The one does some validation (by mailing the user ID on the key) that the keyholder is reachable via that address.  The other servers do not validate, but have the advantage of more keys.  You get to pick which you want more - there is no one right answer, and GnuPG will happily talk to either.  (At the risk of reopening the recent discussion of whether people can/should upload someone else's keys to a keyserver, it's worth noting that only accepts key submissions from the address named on the key).

Anyway, if you choose "everybody else", at least in theory, it doesn't matter which of the "everybody else" servers you hit.  They synchronize with each other, so will have the same keys.  In practice, there are a bunch of servers around the world, which might go up or down, so some folks have set up a special server name that round-robins among several running servers.  It checks the various servers twice a day and only includes healthy ones in the list.

All that is a longwinded way of saying to try "". ;)


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