Cannot create PGP key in Ubuntu 14.04

Bug #1299747 reported by Archisman Panigrahi
This bug affects 40 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
seahorse (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When I try to create a PGP key, enter my informations, passphrase and click ok, nothing happens. I am using Ubuntu 14.04 beta.

I don't know if this is related to security.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: seahorse 3.10.2-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-20.42-generic 3.13.7
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-20-generic i686
ApportVersion: 2.13.3-0ubuntu1
Architecture: i386
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sun Mar 30 17:49:49 2014
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/seahorse
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-03-20 (10 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Xubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Alpha i386 (20140225)
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: seahorse
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Archisman Panigrahi (apandada1) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Archisman Panigrahi (apandada1) wrote :

Now I see it is created when I close seahorse and open again.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in seahorse (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Archisman Panigrahi (apandada1) wrote :

Now cannot sync the key with server

Revision history for this message
TORNADO (tornado-torn) wrote :

The problem is caused by very long period when random key generator collects random bytes. You can find "gpg ... --gen-key" process still runs. This operation could take up to few minutes, so users won't wait. When I was investigating this I have restored a snapshot of my VM each time before the key is generated.

IMO this issue is related to the interface. We need to have some information that the process of the key creation isn't finished.

Changed in seahorse (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Revision history for this message
Leszek (bigl-aff) wrote :

I see that gpg rung with option to generate progress info but for some reason seahorse doesn't get it and immediately returns to main screen.

Revision history for this message
Thomas A. F. Thorne (tafthorne) wrote :

I select 'add a new key or item' > PGP Key and I am presented with a dialogue box requesting my Full Name and E-mail address. The first 3 attempts that I made failed but the final attempt seemed to succeed. For the last attempt I avoided expanding the 'Advanced key options' area. I thought that perhaps setting an Expiry Date or Comment was causing an issue.

I can see now that I have a second key added. As mentioned above it seems that the real problem is that it takes a very long time to finish the key generation process, over 18 minutes so far on some of the keys. I agree with TORNADO that the interface should give some hint that it is working still rather than silently failing.

Revision history for this message
3vi1 (launchpad-net-eternaldusk) wrote :

THANK YOU to Thomas for this last comment. Even today, running the 17.04 alpha, I thought I had discovered a bug with keys not being generated - when the real problem is that the interface doesn't tell you it will take time for the key to be generated. After waiting several minutes one of the two duplicate keys I attempted to create appeared in my list.

The interface generally needs an update to avoid this problem of user confusion.

There may be other problems than confusion as well. Since I created two keys with exactly the same name/info, but only see one in my list, how do if I didn't break the process? Not knowing what happened after kicking off the generation, I as a normal user have no idea if it failed to create the second key or it created both but is only showing one in the list because they're not uniquely named.

There are four new files in ~/.gnupg/private-keys-v1.d/... and it looks like the key's listed only once in pubring.gpg... It's technical enough that the sort of person who actually uses the Password and Keys GUI can have no confidence in their key's state after experiencing this situation.

I deleted the key to start over, some of my trepidation was confirmed: I was asked for two separate confirmations when deleting the key - so I'm guessing it was one for each duplicate.

Revision history for this message
Brad Love (b-rad) wrote :

Definitely affects Xenial. I thought I somehow kept hitting cancel after the passphrase entry since there is zero dialog to let the user know something is happening. I tried to generate keys five times before I came here to look for a bug, now due to previous comments I see that I have five keys (with identical information) slowly generating in the background---for well over 45min now. This is an i7 w/64 gig ram, I wouldn't expect such a delay in the entropy.

Changed in seahorse:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Changed in seahorse:
status: Confirmed → Expired
Revision history for this message
themusicgod1 (themusicgod1) wrote :

upstream links new URL at but can't figure out how to link it to the expired ticket.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.