So, the cPanel web hosting management console has a GnuPG Keys area, which allows you to create or import GPG/PGP keys. However, it doesn't seem that the server actually does anything with them once added to this area?

Their documentation indicates "Servers that use GnuPG keys encrypt outbound messages with a public key." Is there a way to configure a cPanel server to always sign outbound email messages with a given GnuPG key? Or is this feature of cPanel just a GnuPG Keyring (an easy way for you to find/reference your keys)?

1 Answer 1


You keep your private key secret from everyone, but you give your public key to anyone who wants it.

If you want to send someone an encrypted email, you need to get their public key and use that to perform the encryption. The receiver must use their own private key to decrypt the email.

Simply, you provide your public key to others. They must encrypt the email on their end. Once it is sent to the server, you will then use your private key to read it.

To use it in cPanel, use Horde. You have to place your key in an entry in the address book and assign that address book entry as you. Once you do that, you can send encrypted mail but only if you are logged in via SSL.

  • So Horde knows how to do it on its own (using its own addressbook and encryption actions), but doesn't integrate with the actual cPanel widget at all? Sep 16, 2015 at 18:25
  • Well, cPanel installs the Private key on the server. That'll allow the SMTP server to decrypt it before you see it in your inbox. Sep 22, 2015 at 8:33

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