If you have problems or question using Monkeysign, there are several options at your disposal:

  • Try to troubleshoot the issue yourself
  • Write to the mailing list
  • Chat on IRC
  • File bug reports

We of course welcome other contributions like documentation, translations and patches, see the Contribute guide for more information on how to contribute to the project.


The basic way to troubleshoot Monkeysign is to run the same command as you did when you had an error with the --verbose or, if that doesn’t yield satisfactory results, with the --debug output.


The debug output outputs a lot of information, as it shows the OpenPGP key material as it is exchanged with GnuPG. It may be confusing for new users.

If you suspect there is a bug in Monkeysign specific to your environment, you can also try to see if it is reproducible within the test suite with monkeysign --test. From there, you can either file a bug report or try to fix the issue yourself, see the Contribute section for more information.

Otherwise, see below for more options to get support.

Mailing list

Anyone can write to the mailing list at You can browse the archives before posting to see if your question has already been answered. Thanks to for graciously hosting our mailing list.


We encourage you to donate to Riseup to support the Monkeysign project, as we use several parts of their infrastructure to develop Monkeysign.

Note that the mailing list is for the larger Monkeysphere project so if you subscribe, you should expect discussions to go beyond only Monkeysign. Furthermore, when you write to the mailing list, you should explicitly mention that you are talking about Monkeysign.


We are often present in realtime in the #monkeysphere channel of the OFTC network. You can join the channel using this link or this web interface.

Bug reports

We want you to report bugs you find in Monkeysign. It’s an important part of contributing to a project, and all bug reports will be read and replied to politely and professionally.

We are using’s Gitlab instance to manage issues, and this is where bug reports should be sent. Some issues are also documented by Debian users directly.


A few tips on how to make good bug reports:

  • Before you report a new bug, review the existing issues in the online issue tracker and the Debian BTS for Monkeysign to make sure the bug has not already been reported elsewhere.
  • The first aim of a bug report is to tell the developers exactly how to reproduce the failure, so try to reproduce the issue yourself and describe how you did that.
  • If that is not possible, just try to describe what went wrong in detail. Write down the error messages, especially if they have numbers.
  • Take the necessary time to write clearly and precisely. Say what you mean, and make sure it cannot be misinterpreted.
  • Include the output of monkeysign --test, monkeysign --version and monkeysign --debug in your bug reports. See the issue template for more details about what to include in bug reports.

If you wish to read more about issues regarding communication in bug reports, you can read How to Report Bugs Effectively which takes about 30 minutes.


The output of the --debug shows public key material used by Monkeysign. Special efforts have been made so that private key material is never displayed (or in fact accessed directly or copied) but you may want to avoid publicly disclosing which keys you are signing because that can reveal your social graph. If you are confident the signed user will publish the results on the public keyservers, this is not much of a concern. But otherwise, you should leave that decision to that user. This is particularly relevant if you do not want to publicly certify this (e.g. if you are using the --local flag). Do review the output before sending it in bug reports.

Debian BTS

You can also report bugs by email over the Debian BTS, even if you are not using Debian. Use the reportbug package to report a bug if you run Debian (or Ubuntu), otherwise send an email to, with content like this:

Subject: fails to frobnicate

Package: monkeysign
Version: 1.0

Monkeysign fails to frobnicate.

I tried to do...

I was expecting...

And instead I had this backtrace...

I am running Arch Linux 2013.07.01, Python 2.7.5-1 under a amd64

See also the complete instructions for more information on how to use the Debian bugtracker. You can also browse the existing bug reports in the Debian BTS for Monkeysign there.