Download PGP Keys with Apt-key

Posted by admin on December 1, 2009 under Tech Tips | Be the First to Comment

When adding third party software repositories to your APT sources list, you can easily download a referenced PGP key to your APT keyring using the advanced options of the apt-key utility.

For example, if you are adding a third party repository that references the PGP key ID of 6E80C6B7, the following will work as long as the key has been uploaded to a keyserver.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 6E80C6B7
gpg: requesting key 6E80C6B7 from hkp server
gpg: key 6E80C6B7: public key "Launchpad PPA for Banshee Team" imported
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1)

Typically, instructions on adding repositories give readers a two or three step process that involves apt-key reading a key from a text file or piped from a wget command. The above just cuts all that nonsense out.

The apt-key man page is a bit bare, but there are a few other options you might find interesting that are only mentioned in the commands help output.

Usage: apt-key [command] [arguments]

Manage apt's list of trusted keys

apt-key add - add the key contained in ('-' for stdin)
apt-key del - remove the key
apt-key export - output the key
apt-key exportall - output all trusted keys
apt-key update - update keys using the keyring package
apt-key net-update - update keys using the network
apt-key list - list keys
apt-key finger - list fingerprints
apt-key adv - pass advanced options to gpg (download key)

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