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Sign Metadata

Administrators can add signing services to Pulp using the command line tools. Users may then associate the signing services with repositories that support content signing. The example below demonstrates how a signing service can be created using gpg:

1. Initial Setup

Make sure the service user pulp has access to gpg and that the keypair is installed in its keyrings.

The private key might alternatively be provided by a hardware cryptographic device.

2. Create signing script

Create a signing script that accepts a file name as the only argument.

The script needs to generate an ascii-armored detached GPG signature for that file, using the key specified via the PULP_SIGNING_KEY_FINGERPRINT environment variable. There is also a CORRELATION_ID environment variable available for logging purposes. The script should then print out a JSON structure with the following format. All the file names are relative paths inside the current working directory:

{"file": "filename", "signature": "filename.asc"}

The filename must remain the same for the detached signature, as shown.


Plugins may provide other signing service classes that may need their JSON output to contain different information.

Below is an example of a signing script that produces signatures for content:

#!/usr/bin/env bash



# Create a detached signature
gpg --quiet --batch --pinentry-mode loopback --yes --passphrase \
   $PASSWORD --homedir ~/.gnupg/ --detach-sign --default-key $ADMIN_ID \
   --armor --output $SIGNATURE_PATH $FILE_PATH

# Check the exit status
if [ $STATUS -eq 0 ]; then
   echo {\"file\": \"$FILE_PATH\", \"signature\": \"$SIGNATURE_PATH\"}
   exit $STATUS


As the creator of the signing script, you can expect PULP_SIGNING_KEY_FINGERPRINT and potentially other environment variables, depending on the content plugin calling signing service. Make sure the script contains a proper shebang and Pulp has got valid permissions to execute it.

3. Create a signing service

Create a signing service consisting of an absolute path to the script, a meaningful name describing the script's purpose, and the identity identifying the key for signing.

The script must be executable. Here is an example showing how to create one instance of a signing service:

pulpcore-manager add-signing-service ${SERVICE_NAME} ${SCRIPT_ABS_FILENAME} ${KEYID}


The public key must be available on the caller's keyring or on a keyring provided via the --gpghome or --keyring parameters.


It is possible to insert a new signing service into the database by using the pulpcore-manager shell_plus interactive Python shell. However, this is not recommended.

4. Check the signing service

Retrieve and check the saved signing service via REST API:

http :24817/pulp/api/v3/signing-services/
    "count": 1,
    "next": null,
    "previous": null,
    "results": [
            "name": "sign-metadata",
            "pubkey_fingerprint": "19CD52BD1CA9A00DF10A842D74B14E3590C2231F",
            "public_key": "-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----\n\n [...] \n-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----\n",
            "pulp_created": "2020-11-06T15:42:20.645197Z",
            "pulp_href": "/pulp/api/v3/signing-services/ffb9e987-952f-47e3-a274-ffe69a80ded7/",
            "script": "/var/lib/pulp/"

Plugin writers are then able to sign selected content by the provided script. To learn more about the signing from a plugin's perspective, see the section metadata-signing.