[Suggestion] Key Alias

Jeff C's Avatar

Jeff C

22 Nov, 2014 08:57 PM


Sometimes people make a key with a misspelling or something that would confuse me (I'm pretty OCD about this stuff) and it's easier to not make the correction and have to send it to everybody again. I was wondering if we could add a feature to supply an alias name for a key. Something that will not change the key in any way, only change the way I see it.

Thanks for the consideration.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 03 Jan, 2015 03:35 PM

    Steve's Avatar


    well key management is complicated I agree. I'm not sure how aliases would work with keys. This is something to be discussed at the gnupg users mailing list, if you want:

    This needs to be evaluated, if it's possible at all.

    For the time being, read twice before creating a key or if there was a big mistake, keep the key, create a new (corrected) UserID and revoke the old UserID.

    All the best,

  2. 2 Posted by Jeff C on 03 Jan, 2015 11:27 PM

    Jeff C's Avatar

    This would not change the core GnuPG code. It would be a GPG Keychain change only. Nothing about the key would change other than the GPG Keychain's GUI.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Steve on 04 Jan, 2015 12:03 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    I'm not sure yet, I can follow what problem would be solved here.

    If what brings you to the idea of adding the option of an alias is typing errors, the typing errors can happen in that alias just as well.

    How would this alias be managed? Would it also have to be revoked? Can an alias be signed by others? How is an alias update propagated to your friends if you change it?

  4. 4 Posted by Jeff C on 04 Jan, 2015 12:09 AM

    Jeff C's Avatar

    This wouldn't only solve the typing errors scenario. Let's say you run a forum and users supply their public keys. When you import them in your GPG Keychain you see a list of legal names and email addresses (might not be the same they use on the forum). You could keep track of which key belongs to which username much easier if you had the ability to make an alias for a key.

    The change would not need to be revoked nor would it need to be propagated since it's for your own use. The alias would only be managed by the person that imported the key and wants to organize their keychain in a way that works best for them (i.e. the scenario above).

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Luke Le on 06 Feb, 2015 03:39 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hi Jeff,

    this proposal makes perfect sense, and we've already discussed including this in a future version. It would also help, if an email you're normally using to communicate with a contact is missing from their public key. Or for example to add a twitter handle or similar.

    I'll create a ticket for this request.

  6. Steve closed this discussion on 28 May, 2015 07:23 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac