Which keyserver

Phil Pennock gnupg-users at spodhuis.org
Fri Sep 18 17:32:55 CEST 2020

On 2020-09-18 at 08:06 -0700, Mark wrote:
> I use GPG4Win and I've noticed that "hkp://keys.gnupg.net" is not
> working right. I was not getting any hits back when searching with
> Kleopatra and then I tried to ping that server which returned host not
> found.  So I'm also interested if there is a better choice.

keys.gnupg.net is a CNAME for hkps.pool.sks-keyservers.net -- which is
now returning zero results.

The pool of SKS keyservers is Very Unhealthy.  The entire keyserver
system had Known Issues but worked well enough that the volunteers who
ran it could keep it alive and improving, until it came under sustained
attack from people trying to burn it all down and push people to use
"not OpenPGP" instead (some of the funding for attack tool development
came from an org which is firmly pushing one of the modern alternative
encrypted communications tools).

There's still some keyservers, but what you see now are the red smoking
embers of what's left after everything else has been burnt down.  From a
pool of around 120 servers, almost all routinely working fairly well and
being able to maintain per-continent pool aliases of servers which were
health-checked and removed if not doing well, there's now fewer than 20
servers left, from very few independent sources, and even those in the
main pool are often not doing well.

Which is why folks are struggling and trying to find something which
works well enough.  There's nothing which fits all needs, but various
solutions for some scenarios.  See my first reply in this thread with
suggestions of particular servers.


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