-- The Email Based Key Server System

For those people unable to use the WWW interface to the key servers, and who do not make enough lookups to warrant maintaining a local copy of the keyring by copying it from the FTP interface to the key servers, a set of supported email based servers have been set up which all respond to requests to The actual servers may change over time, but the idea is that this address will persist (sites wanting to become part of the service should read our charter). The announcement is available as text or HTML).

When a mail system wants to contact, it asks the DNS for its MX RRs and will be given the list of all the keyservers, but as all authorative NameServers for implement the ROUND_ROBIN option of BIND to cycle the list on each request, the order of the list is "randomised" (ensuring that the load is roughly balanced). As the mail system is due to keep trying MX RRs until it manages to deliver the email, it will tolerate failures of keyservers.

Thus we have a long lived address which is robust and can be managed.

Regional Servers

For the efficiency freaks amongst us, a second level has been added so that users can restrict their requests to "nearby" servers in their own country. Thus users in the UK can contact in the knowledge that their request will be sent to a "local" server (typically in the UK, but if there are insufficient servers in the UK, suitable servers can be added to the MX RRs).

For non English speaking countries, accessing the national server will later return help in the local language(s) with an English version appended at the end. Thus will return help in German first, then English. The currently available languages for the help text are

but when things have settled, we'll add more

Current Domains

The currently registered domains are

The Old Scheme

An English verion of the list of servers covered by the old, ad hoc scheme is available as text
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