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PGP Desktop "The server key for the PGP Global Directory could not be obtained."

Created: 24 Jan 2013 • Updated: 24 Jan 2013 | 2 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.
When I try to send my public key to the pgp keyserver, I get this error message:
"The server key for the PGP Global Directory could not be obtained."
What do I need to do to resolve this and upload my public key?

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Tom Mc's picture

This appears to rarely occur.  All I'm finding on it is reflected there:

What operating system are you using?

What PGP version?

Is this a corporate setting?  PGP Universal managed?

Are you able to otherwise use the Global Directory, such as searching for a key?

If this is your only PGP problem, you may be able to work around it, by using the web interface:

When you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

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mister shirts's picture


Unfortunately, the first link you provide does not link to a solution, nor does it link to any further information on this topic.I also found the contents of this link using this site's search function, but when I followed the contents I quickly discovered that it answers a different question and contains no information on this topic.

I'm using Windows 7 SP1, PGP Enterprise Desktop 10.1.1 (Build 10) (Not so helpfully, the open 'About PGP' dialogue box disappears when you try to type the version data text here...) Corporate. Global Directory does not find anything... So, yes, almost certainly a corporate network protection mechanism is my underlying problem.

But the second link that you provided: 'Use the web interface', solved the problem. Thanks! 

Moral: Don't always rely on the provided menu functions!

Improvement opportunity: If there are a limited number of high probability causes, then the error box could usefully include a reference to them rather than merely stating: "The server key for the PGP Global Directory could not be obtained.". Something like: '"The server key for the PGP Global Directory could not be obtained. If you are trying to upload your public key, then you could try using the web interface directly: If you are trying to <insert other high probability causes and their solutions>"

- direct from the buttonhole of mister shirts