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Public Key Server Commands

HTML Forms support required!

Extract a key from the server

Submit a key to the server

Extracting a key

Here's how to extract a key:
  1. Select either the ``Index'' or ``Verbose Index'' check box. The ``Verbose'' option also displays all signatures on displayed keys.
  2. Type ID you want to search for in the ``Search String'' box.
  3. Press the ``Do the search!'' key.
  4. The server will return a (verbose) list of keys on the server matching the given ID. (The ID can be any valid argument to a pgp -kv(v) command. If you want to look up a key by its hexadecimal KeyID, remember to prefix the ID with 0x.)
  5. The returned index will have hypertext links for every KeyID, and every bracket-delimited identifier (i.e. < 0x6B59B9BD>). Clicking on the hypertext link will display an ASCII-armored version of the listed public key.

Server: Index: Verbose Index:

Search String:

Show PGP "fingerprints" for keys

Only return exact matches

Extract caveats:
  • Currently, hypertext links are only generated for the KeyID and for text found between matching brackets. (It's a common convention to put your e-mail address inside brackets somewhere in the key ID string.)
  • The search engine is not the same as that used by the pgp program. It will return information for all keys which contain all the words in the search string. A ``word'' in this context is a string of consecutive alphabetic characters. For example, in the string, the words are marc, mit, and edu.

    This means that some keys you might not expect will be returned. If there was a key in the database for Marc Edu <>, this would be returned for by the above query. If you don't want to see all these extra matches, you can select ``Only return exact matches'', and only keys containing the specified search string will be returned.

    This algorithm does not match partial words in any case. So, if you are used to specifying only part of a long name, this will no longer work.

Submitting a new key to the server

Here's how to add a key to the server's keyring:
  1. Cut-and-paste an ASCII-armored version of your public key into the text box.
  2. Press "Submit".
That's it! The keyserver will process your request immediately. If you like, you can check that your key exists using the extract procedure above.
Enter ASCII-armored PGP key here:

(Thanks to Brian LaMacchia, from whom much of this page is cribbed)

Marc Horowitz <>
Student Information Processing Board

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