Using the E-mail interface to the keyserver

Using the E-mail interface to the keyserver

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PGP Public Email Keyservers

There are PGP public email key servers which allow one to exchange public
keys running using the Internet and UUCP mail systems.
Those capable of accessing the WWW might prefer to use the WWW interface
available via and managers of sites
which may want to make frequent lookups may care to copy the full keyring
from the FTP server at

This service exists only to help transfer keys between PGP users.
It does NOT attempt to guarantee that a key is a valid key;
use the signatures on a key for that kind of security.

Each keyserver processes requests in the form of mail messages.
The commands for the server are entered on the Subject: line.
---------------------------------------------- ======== -----
Note that they should NOT be included in the body of the message.
--------------------- === ---------------------------------------

        Subject: help

Sending your key to ONE server is enough.  After it processes your
key, it will forward your add request to other servers automagically.

For example, to add your key to the keyserver, or to update your key if it
is already there, send a message similar to the following to any server:

        Subject: add

        -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
        Version: 2.6

        -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

COMPROMISED KEYS:  Create a Key Revocation Certificate (read the PGP
docs on how to do that) and mail your key to the server once again,
with the ADD command.

Valid commands are:

Command                Message body contains
---------------------- -------------------------------------------------
ADD                    Your PGP public key (key to add is body of msg)
INDEX                  List all PGP keys the server knows about (-kv)
VERBOSE INDEX          List all PGP keys, verbose format (-kvv)
GET                    Get the whole public key ring (split)
GET userid             Get just that one key
MGET regexp            Get all keys which match /regexp/
                       regexp must be at least two characters long
LAST days              Get the keys updated in the last `days' days

Examples for the MGET command:

        MGET michael            Gets all keys which have "michael" in them
        MGET iastate            All keys which contain "iastate"
        MGET E8F605A5|5F3E38F5  Those two keyid's

One word about regexps:  These are not the same as the wildcards Unix
shells and MSDOS uses.  A * isn't ``match anything'' it means ``match
zero or more of the previous character'' like:

	a.*  matches anything beginning with an a
	ab*c matches ac, abc, abbc, etc.

Just try not to use ``MGET .*'' -- use ``GET'' instead.

Note on the ``GET'' command: If at all possible, ftp the keyring from a
server such as rather than using the ``GET''
command to return the whole ring.  Currently, this ring comes out to be
over 50 files of 52k each.  This is a lot of files, and a lot of bother
to get in the right order to run through PGP.

Users should normally use the email address `'
or your national servers using one of:
for the email interface, and `' for FTP access.

Users are recommended to use the "*" addresses above as these
are stable and reliable.