are angle brackets around email address allowed for auto-key-locate?

David Hebbeker david at
Wed Oct 16 20:26:52 CEST 2019

On Wed, 2019-10-16 at 14:19 +0200, Werner Koch wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:23, David Hebbeker said:
> > The manual [1] says that GnuPG can automatically retrieve keys for
> > emails in the "user at" form. Does this exclude emails
> > wrapped by angle brackets like "<user at>"?
> That is fine.

Hi Werner and everyone,

thank you for your response, I was hoping that this would be possible. 

On the other hand, I have experienced a behavior I could only explain
with auto-key-locate being restricted to the pure form. Maybe you can
enlighten me on this case.

I demonstrate this behavior on a system which uses the attached
configuration file gpg.conf. I tested this with GnuPG 2.1.18 and

rm msg.*
echo "hello world" > msg.txt
gpg --batch --yes --delete-keys edward-en at

Bad Case (does not work)
gpg --always-trust -e -r "<edward-en at>" msg.txt

	gpg: <edward-en at>: skipped: No public key
	gpg: msg.txt: encryption failed: No public key

Good Case (works)
gpg --always-trust -e -r "edward-en at" msg.txt

	gpg: key 9FF2194CC09A61E8: 7454 signatures not checked due to
missing keys
	gpg: key 9FF2194CC09A61E8: public key "Edward, the GPG Bot <edw
ard-en at>" imported
	gpg: no need for a trustdb check with 'always' trust model
	gpg: Total number processed: 1
	gpg:               imported: 1
	gpg: automatically retrieved 'edward-en at' via keyserver

Note: The only difference is the missing angle brackets.

Can you please explain the difference? That would be of great help!

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keyserver hkp://
# Used for encryption
auto-key-locate keyserver
# Used for verifying signatures
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