Creating OpenPGP Key

Introducing OpenPGP Key

An OpenPGP (also called GnuPrivacyGuard) key allows you to sign documents, such as emails or text files, using a digital key.

There are two parts to an OpenPGP key: one public that you share with the world and the other private, which you should guard closely. Both are standard text files that make up a digital signature.

Read more about OpenPGP keys

In Launchpad, you can use your OpenPGP key to identify yourself when using the bug tracker’s email interface, when uploading distribution packages and when signing a code of conduct.

Generating your key in Ubuntu

The easiest way to generate a new OpenPGP key in Ubuntu is to use the Passwords and Encryption Keys tool.

Step 1: Open Applications > Accessories > Passwords and Encryption Keys.

Step 2: Select File > New, select PGP Key and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Now you’ll see your new key listed in the Passwords and Encryption Keys tool.

Publishing your key

Your key is useful only if other people can verify items that you sign. By publishing your key to a keyservers, which acts as a directory of people’s public keys, you can make your public key available to anyone else.

Before you add your key to Launchpad, you need to push it to the Ubuntu keyserver.

Step 1: Open a terminal and type:

gpg --list-keys

Step 2: You’ll see a list of OpenPGP keys in your system, including the one you’ve just created, which look something like this:

pub 1024D/12345678 2007-01-26
uid Geoffrey Hayes (My OpenPGP key) <>
sub 2048g/9ABCDEF1 2007-01-26

In the example above, 1024D/12345678 is the key’s public id. We need the second part, i.e. 12345678. Copy that part of your key’s public id.

Step 3: Enter:

gpg --send-keys --keyserver 12345678

Note: Replace 12345678 with the public key id you copied in the step 2.

If successful, GPG will display a message similar to:

gpg: sending key 12345678 to hkp server

Now you’re ready to import your new key into Launchpad!


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