Questions about OpenPGP best practices

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Tue Feb 26 08:10:58 CET 2013

On 02/25/2013 10:43 PM, Doug Barton wrote:
> The Best Practices page you posted above actually suggests:
>   keyserver hkps://
>   keyserver-options ca-cert-file=/path/to/CA/sks-keyservers.netCA.pem
> That worked for me, although I was a bit disappointed that placing the
> cert at /etc/ssl/certs/ didn't work
> like all the docs said it should.

which docs suggested that should work?  what operating system are you
expecting it to work for?

if you're using debian or a debian-derived system like mint or ubuntu,
and you want to add a CA to the "system trusted root store", you
actually want to add the file with a .crt extension (not .cert) to
/usr/local/share/ca-certificates/ and then run "update-ca-certificates"
as the superuser.

Please read:


on your local system for more details.

> Does anyone know where/how to place the cert file on the system so that
> it can be called by demand, rather than having to specify it in the
> gpg.conf?

gpg's keyserver-option ca-cert-file's default for hkps is dependent on
the TLS library libcurl linked to from libcurl in the handler in
/usr/lib/gnupg/gpgkeys_hkp.  on debian systems right now, this is
libgnutls26, which currently has no default root CAs.

newer versions of gnutls have a standard default root CA set that maps
to the system provided above by ca-certificates.

If and when gnupg-curl builds against libgnutls28-dev (the next major
API change in gnutls), it should adopt those changes.


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