B.6. Importing a
The other end of key exchange is importing other people's public
keys to your keyring — is just as simple as exporting keys.
When you import someone's public key, you can decrypt their email
and check their digital signature against their public key on your
One of the easiest ways to import a key is to download the key
or save it from a website.
After downloading a key and saving it to the file key.asc, use the following command to add
it to your keyring.
Another way to save a key is to use a browser's feature. If you are using a browser such
as Mozilla, and you locate a key at a
keyserver, you can save the page as a text file (go to => ).
In the drop-down box next to Files of Type,
choose Text Files (*.txt). Then, you can
import the key — but remember the name of the file you saved.
For example, if you saved a key as a text file called newkey.txt, to import the file, at a
shell prompt, type the following command:
The output looks similar to the following:
gpg: key F78FFE84: public key imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: imported: 1
To check that the process was successful, use the gpg --list-keys command; you should see your newly
imported key listed on your keyring.
When you import a public key, you add that key to your keyring (a file in which public and secret keys are
kept). Then, when you download a document or file from that entity,
you can check the validity of that document against the key you
added to your keyring.