A set of Python classes that interact with and extend the Keybase.io data store of public keys
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ianchesal Remove references to the KeybaseAdmin class
And add in `keybase.discover` to the common methods.
Latest commit a478575 Jan 25, 2015



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A Python implementation of the keybase.io API

What is Keybase?

From their website:

Keybase is two things.

  1. a public, publicly-auditable directory of keys and identity proofs
  2. a protocol (this API) for accessing the directory

Keybase has an existing command line written in Node.js as well as a well documented HTTP API. This Python API is mostly an experiment for my own edification and hopefully it becomes something useful for everyone. I was smitten with Keybase's nice HTML API and thought, "Why not?".


The official documentation for the project can be found here: http://keybase-python-api.readthedocs.org/en/latest/


[sudo] pip install keybase-api


from keybase import keybase


See the official documentation for more examples of how to use the API.

Get a User's Credentials

kbase = keybase.Keybase('irc')
primary_key = kbase.get_public_key()

You can use the ascii or bundle properties on the primary_key object in the above example to get an ASCII version of their primary public key, suitable for feeding in to a signature verification or encryption routine.

Find Users by Their Twitter Handles

The keybase.discover method returns tuples of keybase.Keybase objects. It lets you find Keybase users by other indentifiers such as their Twitter handle, Github username, website domain, etc. For a completely list of available search criteria please see the official documentation.

kusers = keybase.discover(keybase.TWITTER, ['ircri']
assert len(kusers) > 0
primary_key = kusers[0].get_public_key()

Use a User's Public Key to Verify the Signature on a Signed File

Where the file was signed with a gpg command like so:

gpg -u keybase.io/irc --sign helloworld.txt

So there is one, binary, file helloworld.txt.gpg that contains both the data and the signature on the data to verify.

kbase = keybase.Keybase('irc')
verified = kbase.verify_file('helloworld.txt.gpg')
assert verified

Where the file was signed with a gpg command like so:

gpg -u keybase.io/irc --detach-sign helloworld.txt

So there are two files:

  1. The original data file; and
  2. The detached .sig file that contains the signature for the data.

In this case:

kbase = keybase.Keybase('irc')
fname = 'helloworld.txt'
sigfname = 'helloworld.txt.sig'
verified = kbase.verify_file(fname, sigfname)
assert verified

Use a User's Public Key to Encrypt a Message to that User

Given some str formatted data, you can create an ASCII armored, encrypted str representation of that data suitable for sending to the user. Only someone with the private key will be able to decrypt this data.

kbase = keybase.Keybase('irc')
instring = 'Hello, world!'
encrypted = kbase.encrypt(instring)
assert encrypted
assert not encrypted.isspace()
assert encrypted != instring



I highly recommend you develop using VirtualEnv. It keeps dependency stuff somewhat sane. The .gitignore file is set expecting you to keep your virtual environment in .venv like so:

[sudo] pip install virtualenv
cd ~/code
git clone git@github.com:ianchesal/keybase-python.git
cd keybase-python
virtualenv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
<do your development work now>


Most of the testing was done against GnuPG:

> gpg2 --version
gpg (GnuPG) 2.0.26
libgcrypt 1.6.2
Copyright (C) 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

Home: ~/.gnupg
Supported algorithms:
Hash: MD5, SHA1, RIPEMD160, SHA256, SHA384, SHA512, SHA224
Compression: Uncompressed, ZIP, ZLIB, BZIP2

Continuous Integration

I'm using Travis CI to build and test on every push to the public github repository. You can find the Travis CI page for this project here: https://travis-ci.org/ianchesal/keybase-python/

The project is currently setup in Travis to test Python 2.6, 2.7 and 3.3. But only 2.7 is being targetted at this point and time and 2.6, 3.3 are listed as allowed-to-fail in the .travis.yml file for the project.

Branching in Git

I'm using git-flow for development in git via github. I've loved the branching model git-flow proposed from day one and the addon to git makes it very intuitive and easy to follow. I generally don't push my feature/* branches to the public repository; I do keep development and master up to date here though.


Please see TODO.md for the short list of big things I thought worth writing down.

Contact Me

Questions or comments about keybase? Hit me up at ian.chesal@gmail.com.