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Introducing OpenPGP keys (launchpad and ubuntu)

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.

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 (using Seahorse or others)

Generating an OpenPGP Key

The core package required to start using OpenPGP, gnupg, is installed by default on Ubuntu systems, as is seahorse, a GNOME application for managing keys. It is called "Passwords and Keys" in Ubuntu.
There are several programs which provide a graphical interface to the GnuPG system.
  • Enigmail, an OpenPGP plugin for Mozilla Thunderbird.
    • Enigmail was available in the "Main" repository through Intrepid, but can be found in the "Universe" repository since Jaunty.
sudo apt-get install enigmail
  • GNU Privacy Assistant is a graphical user interface for the GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard).
    • GPA is available in the "Universe" repository. See Repositories for further information on enabling repositories.
sudo apt-get install gpa
  • Seahorse is a GNOME application for managing encryption keys. It also integrates with nautilus, gedit, and in other places for encryption operations.
    • Seahorse is available in the "Main" repository.
sudo apt-get install seahorse
  • KGPG is a simple, free, open source KDE frontend for gpg.
    • KGPG is available in the "Main" repository since Intrepid, or the "Universe" repository in earlier releases.
sudo apt-get install kgpg
  • Kleopatra is another KDE frontend for gpg that is integrated with the KDE PIM (although you need to install it separately for now).
    • Kleopatra is available in the "Universe" repository and it includes S/MIME backend:
sudo apt-get install kleopatra
You can also generate keys using these programs. Use the section below for recommendations on settings.

Publishing your key

Your key is useful only if other people can verify items that you sign. By publishing your key to a keyserver, 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 or elswhere, you need to push it to (for exemple) the Ubuntu keyserver.

Using Passwords and Encryption Keys

Step 1 Open Passwords and Encryption Keys.
Step 2 Select the My Personal Keys tab, select your key.
Step 3 Select Remote > Sync and Publish Keys from the menu. Choose the Syncbutton. (You may need to add hkp:// to your key servers if you are not using Ubuntu.)
It can take up to thirty minutes before your key is available to Launchpad. After that time, you're ready to import your new key into Launchpad!
Renewing your keyYou may have set your key to expire. You can update your key and republish it.
Step 1 Open Passwords and Encryption Keys.
Step 2 Select the My Personal Keys tab, select your key, and open the property window by pressing Space Bar our double clicking with your pointer.
Step 3 Set a new expiration date or choose never.
See the Publishing your key section above.
More about GPG
Importing Your PGP Key > at Launchpad Help has more information about using OpenPGP with Launchpad and provides examples using the GPG command found on most Linux distributions. Read the Ubuntu community's guide to OpenPGP keys > to learn about how to other uses.


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