dirmngr should try the configured keyservers anyway even if they are all dead
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if dirmngr is explicitly configured with a keyserver -- or if it is using the default configuration -- and its host table has *all* of the configured keyservers marked as dead, for whatever reason, then it refuses to make new requests, which causes gpg --search to fail (it tells the user to (use option --keyserver), which is a separate weirdness, see T4512).

marking keyservers as "known dead" is useful when selecting among a pool where some keyservers are dead but others are not. But if *all* keyservers are known dead, and the user is requesting a network connection anyway, dirmngr should go ahead and try one of the dead ones, rather than pre-emptively failing.


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dkg created this task.May 14 2019, 12:54 AM
dkg added a comment.May 14 2019, 1:00 AM

This is particularly bad for users who have manually specified a given keyserver in dirmngr.conf, because even a transient failure in that keyserver will prevent them from any future keyserver requests until dirmngr decides that the "death" has worn off.

Most troublingly, this fatal failure mode might encourage some keyserver operators to try to hide transient failures to avoid this bad use case, which would make error signalling even harder to interpret.

werner triaged this task as Normal priority.