How to Fix the GPG Key Error with Docker on Debian

When managing Docker on Debian, you might encounter an issue with missing GPG keys during repository updates. This error prevents your system from verifying the Docker packages, which is crucial for a secure installation. In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the steps to resolve the GPG key error for the Docker Debian repository.

What Causes the GPG Key Error?

The error message typically looks something like this:

W: GPG error: bookworm InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 7EA0A9C3F273FCD8
E: The repository ' bookworm InRelease' is not signed.

This indicates that the system does not have the necessary public key to verify Docker’s packages. This usually happens when the GPG key used by the repository has been updated, or if you have not added the key to your system.

Step-by-Step Solution

Here’s how you can add the missing GPG key and resolve the issue:

Step 1: Add the Missing GPG Key

To add the missing GPG key, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 7EA0A9C3F273FCD8

This command contacts a keyserver, requests the public key associated with Docker, and adds it to your system’s list of trusted keys.

Step 2: Update Your Package Lists

After adding the key, you should update your package lists to reflect the change:

sudo apt-get update

This command fetches the latest package lists from all configured repositories, ensuring that all packages are verified against their GPG signatures.


By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the GPG key error and continue with your Docker installations and updates on Debian. Ensuring that your system recognizes and trusts the correct public keys is essential for maintaining the security and integrity of your software installations.