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I want to upload my PGP public key on a public server. Till the time PGP was an independent organization, I heard a lot about KeyServers, but after Symantec acquired PGP, what is the future of these servers?

Is there any other alternative way to keep my public keys online?

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up vote 26 down vote accepted

Both SKS Keyserver Pool (stats) and PGP Global Directory are online.

I usually use sks-keyservers, since it consists of many servers which synchronize their databased continuously, while Global Directory is a single, commercially operated server.

There also exist pgp.mit.edu (stats) aka cryptonomicon.mit.edu (not part of SKS pool, but does sync with other servers) and keys.gnupg.net pool (stats) (the default keyserver for GnuPG).

Edit: keys.gnupg.net is now an alias for the SKS pool


If your email address is at a domain name you manage (i.e. can have arbitrary DNS records created), it is also possible to publish your PGP key using DNS. The easiest method for that is PKA, which only requires the ability to create TXT records; see the article on publishing PGP Keys in the DNS.

PKA, as well as two other methods (CERT and IPGP CERT), are described in this guide in much more detail.

One downside of all three methods is that GnuPG must be manually configured to use them, and PGP.com doesn't even support using DNS. Meanwhile, practically all versions of PGP and GnuPG can use keyservers.

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When i publish a key( which contains private+public) , does it also publish a private ??? it must not.... –  Royi Namir Dec 23 '12 at 11:33
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@grawity I don't use PGP Global Directory anymore due to many of the links moving back to symantec and whois information doesn't return with any results which worries me very much. Also the SSL security for PGP Global Directory is pretty bad as well. –  meguroyama Mar 13 '14 at 7:00
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@meguroyama PGP uses its own "Web of trust" for verifying keys, so SSL support in keyservers is only useful for privacy reasons (to hide what keys you retrieve). Many SKS keyservers still lack SSL completely, and while they're slowly adding it, it's not a security problem. –  grawity Mar 15 '14 at 9:23
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As for the WHOIS information – you don't know who runs most SKS keyservers either; and this too doesn't matter. –  grawity Mar 15 '14 at 9:25
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@meguroyama: Right – the only problem is that the Global Directory is isolated; it does not exchange keys with anything else. On the other hand, all SKS keyservers sync to each other; if one goes down, two dozen others continue working. –  grawity Mar 19 '14 at 11:30

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