Key servers are repositories of keys in public key systems, they are necessary infrastructure for the widespread and easy use of systems such as PGP and GnuPG. Normally KeyServers are publically accessible, allowing for querying, retrieval and long-term archiving of public keys.

Keyservers for OpenPGP

(OpenPGP is the standard that GPG and PGP adhere to).

If you're new to GPG, and wondering what you're supposed to do with your newly created key, here are some key servers you can upload and receive keys to/from.

Use a command like

gpg --keyserver <some.key.server> ...

Or even better, add a line to your $HOME/.gnupg/options file like

(In recent versions of GPG -- such as 1.2.1 or later -- the options file has been renamed to gpg.conf)

There are many lists of publically accessible key servers, but many of the are very out-of-date. At the time of writing was a good, current list.

"main" key server network

Most OpenPGP keyservers are part of a global network that synchronises slowly. You can see the full synchronisation map here:

The only NZ based OpenPGP keyserver is at:

Other servers that synchronise with each other are:

"Other" key servers

These servers (apparently?) don't synchronise with the above.


Part of CategoryCryptography