Sign key with externalized master key

Xavier Maillard xavier at
Wed Feb 11 23:31:42 CET 2015

Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg at> writes:

> On Wed 2015-02-11 00:41:18 -0500, Xavier Maillard wrote:
>> May I ask how one would sign public keys when a "master key" is
>> stored onto an USB stick ?
>> I followed instructions from [1]. Now I am in the process of
>> announcing my key transition to all old signers *but*, as a last
>> test, I just tested public signature with my "master key" and this is
>> where troubles occur:
>> LANG=C gpg --home /Volumes/FSF/.gnupg --recv-keys <A KEYID>
>> gpg: WARNING: unsafe permissions on homedir `/Volumes/FSF/.gnupg'
>> gpg: external program calls are disabled due to unsafe options file permissions
>> gpg: keyserver communications error: General error
>> gpg: keyserver receive failed: General error
>> So what ? My USB stick is formated using extFat so permissions are
>> something unknown.
> The fact that you're using a FAT volume is the root cause here; FAT
> filesystems do not have ownership or permissions, so when a modern OS
> mounts them, it has to fake permissions for these files.

Thank you for this precision. Are you aware of some "portable" and
well supported by the 3-major OSes filesystem type ?

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