HOW TO: Distribute a Public Key with PGP Desktop 8.x

Article:HOWTO41914  |  Created: 2006-03-14  |  Updated: 2011-02-06  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO41914
Article Type
How To




This article describes how to distribute your PGP Desktop 8.x public key so that others may send you encrypted data.



In order for other PGP users to send you encrypted data, they must have a copy of your public key on their PGP keyring. There are several different methods for other users to obtain a copy of your public key. Included in this article are instructions for emailing a copy of your public key (as an attachment or as a text block), uploading a copy of your public key to a public keyserver, and transferring a copy of your key via physical medium.

Note: You may use PGP to digitally sign your emails and documents, and your public key verifies your PGP digital signature. Recipients of your PGP-signed data (who have a copy of your public key) are able to verify your signature, indicating that emails/documents are really from you.

Email a copy of your public key as an attachment 

  1. Open the PGPkeys window (click your PGPtray icon, gray or gold padlock in your system tray, then click PGPkeys).
  2. Right click on the key whose public portion you will be emailing.
  3. Click Export.
  4. When the Export Key dialog box appears, browse to the folder in which you want to save a copy of your public key.

    Caution: Since you only want to send your public key to others, leave the Include PrivateKey(s) box unchecked.

  5. Click the Save button. A copy of your public key will be saved (as an ASCII-armored file) in the location you specified.
  6. Attach the newly created .asc file to an email, and send it to those who need your public key.

Email a copy of your public key as a text block 

  1. Open the PGPkeys window (click your PGPtray icon, gray or gold padlock in your system tray, then click PGPkeys).
  2. Right click on the key whose public portion you will be emailing.
  3. Click Copy.
  4. Open a new email message, right click anywhere in the body, and click Paste. A block of cipher text representing your PGP public key will be pasted into the body of your email.
  5. Send your email to those who need your public key.

Upload your public key to a public keyserver 

  1. Make sure your Internet connection is active.
  2. Open the PGPkeys window (click your PGPtray icon, gray or gold padlock in your system tray, then click PGPkeys).
  3. Highlight the key you wish to distribute to other PGP users.
  4. Click the Server menu, then click Send To.
  5. Click the public keyserver to upload your public key. Once your key has been successfully uploaded, other PGP users may download it from the server and add it to their keyring.

Transfer your public key via physical medium 

  1. Open the PGPkeys window (click your PGPtray icon, gray or gold padlock in your system tray, then click PGPkeys).
  2. Right click on the key whose public portion you will be distributing.
  3. Click Export.
  4. When the Export Key dialog box appears, browse to the medium in which you want to save a copy of your public key. PGP recommends using a floppy disk.

    Caution: Since you only want to send your public key to others, leave the Include Private Key(s) box unchecked.

  5. Click the Save button. A copy of your public key will be saved (as an ASCII-armored file) onto your floppy disk or alternate medium.
  6. Give your disk to the PGP user who needs your public key.

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Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO41914


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