GPG Keychain "Import successful - No keys imported"

gpg_dude's Avatar


26 Nov, 2019 04:02 PM

I encountered this message today and it seems a bit odd. I believe it occurred due to a newly published key that hadn't finished synchronizing to all the SKS nodes. So when I searched for it, I hit a node that had it, but then when I tried to retrieve it I'm guessing I hit a node that didn't have it yet and so it couldn't be downloaded. Seems this message might should be tweaked since it the import was technically unsuccessful.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 27 Nov, 2019 01:05 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi gpg_dude,

    again, thanks for taking the time to report. That is also on macOS 10.12 using GPG Suite 2019.1?

    Can you share the fingerprint so I can try to reproduce? I have not encountered this and the error message indeed sounds wrong.

    Are you able to do some more testing and see if you can figure out any pattern to reproduce this odd error message?


  2. 2 Posted by gpg_dude on 02 Dec, 2019 06:05 PM

    gpg_dude's Avatar

    Hi Steve,
    Yes, this is also on 10.12.6 & 2019.1

    I don't think the fingerprint will do you any good based on what I believe is the root cause of this behavior:

    • User1 creates new key
    • User1 uploads key to SKS keyserver network
    • Key begins to propagate through the SKS network
    • User2 searches for key in SKS network and hits a node that has it so GPG shows it
    • User2 then tells GPG to download the key but that request ends up on a different server in the SKS network which hasn't successfully reconciled a copy of that key yet so the receive should fail due to that server not having the key
    • User2 receives the seemingly contradictory error message

    The only way I can think to test/re-produce this would be to have 2 key servers. The first server with a specific key and the second server without the same key. You'd then need to arrange for the search operation take place on the first server & the receive operation take place on the second server - perhaps by modifying the hosts file in between operations?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Steve on 13 Dec, 2019 12:25 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    We will have to tweak that message. We have a ticket for this problem. I connected this discussion with the existing ticket. That means, should this discussion get closed, it will be re-opened as soon as the ticket is closed. That way you'll stay in the loop and get notified as soon as we have news. Feel free to open a new discussions should you run into further problems or need assistance.

  4. Steve closed this discussion on 04 Mar, 2020 02:28 PM.

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