Very unclear how to delete/revoke keys

Matty Mo's Avatar

Matty Mo

10 Aug, 2012 03:03 AM

I would submit that there should be better documentation about revoking/deleting keys. I thought I had revoked (I pressed revoke buttons without receiving an error) but then after I deleted my keys ... I then found them on the servers. Now, evidently, I cannot revoke it. (Why did it not at least go to the trash so that this was potentially reversible?) [Sigh]

  1. 1 Posted by Bill on 11 Aug, 2012 03:36 AM

    Bill's Avatar


    As I understand it, you cannot ever remove a key off of a keyserver. Revoking generates a revoke certificate that gets uploaded to the key server and lets everyone know that the specific key is now defunct. But the key never actually gets removed.

    Someone will correct me if I am wrong...

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Steve on 13 Aug, 2012 12:21 PM

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    Hey Matty,

    Bill is absolutely right. Keys cannot be deleted from key servers. But they can be revoked.

    Once you loose your sec key you are pretty much fu*ked. There is no way, you can revoke that key unless you have created a revocation certificate previously (which most people don't do).

    How to revoke a key:

    • Open GPG Keychain Access
    • Double click the sec key
    • Key Inspector opens
    • go to user IDs
    • select the entry you want to revoke
    • hit the revoke button
    • repeat process for all User IDs
    • when that is done, simply upload that key the key server

    That's it.

    I'll make an FAQ for this now. :) Documentation is time intensive and we are constantly improving but I agree, it's lacking a lot currently.

    All the best,

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Steve on 13 Aug, 2012 03:47 PM

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  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Steve on 24 Aug, 2012 04:50 PM

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    No further user feedback. Closing.

    @all: Should your problem persist, feel free to re-open this discussion any time.

    All the best,

    Please consider a donation. We do all this in our spare time.

  5. Steve closed this discussion on 24 Aug, 2012 04:50 PM.

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