I am not asking for per-request of a key, I know how to do that, but I want a chosen alternative gpg keyserver to be defaulted to, when no specific keyserver is specified in a request then-on-out.

Any ideas?


Looking at the gpg commands man page and how it behaves when there is no $HOME/.gnugpg directory present I'm not sure how this would work. When you have no $HOME/.gnugpg directory present, gpg will create one for you.

$ gpg --list-keys --fingerprint
gpg: directory `/root/.gnupg' created
gpg: new configuration file `/root/.gnupg/gpg.conf' created
gpg: WARNING: options in `/root/.gnupg/gpg.conf' are not yet active during this run
gpg: keyring `/root/.gnupg/pubring.gpg' created
gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

The only idea I can conceive of here would be to put your default key server in the file that's used to populate a user's directory when they run gpg for the first time, but this is only marginally going to give you what you want.

So in my analysis I do not see a way to do what you ask.


According to the doc, gpg has no global configuration file, it is strictly user-based and takes the config only from the ~/.gnupg directory or from a directory specified by --homedir option on the command line.

As @sim noted, one solution is to alter the default skeleton file for creating the user's cfg file. On Debian, it is located here /usr/share/gnupg/options.skel

In the man page of gpgconf utility, there arises a second possibility:

          Update all configuration files with values taken from the global configuration file (usually ‘/etc/gnupg/gpgconf.conf’).

The keyserver option is supported, you can check with:

gpgconf --list-options gpg

So placing the dafault keyserver in the /etc/gnupg/gpgconf.conf and calling gpgconf --apply-defaults for the particular user could be used also.


At ubuntu a standard keyserver is set.

You can add the entry:


in file ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf

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