gnupg-2.1.x, GPG_AGENT_INFO, claws-mail

Werner Koch wk at
Fri Jan 2 13:59:59 CET 2015

On Fri,  2 Jan 2015 09:16, robby at said:

> problem in claws-mail's usage of the gpg-agent.  Claws allows the
> user to let gpg-agent handle passphrases for e.g. mail signing,
> encryption, etcetera, or else it will handle it internally.

Claws uses GPGME and with decent GPGME versions GnuPG 2.x is preferred
if it is installed and thus gpg-agent is used anyway.  Messing around
with GPG_AGENT_INFO is not a good idea at all.

There is another current mail thread on Enigmail which should be used
to discuss the passphrase issue.

I wrote the initial support for GnuPG in Claws/Sylpheed and later helped
to fix things for the Windows port.  In fact we distribute a Claws
version for Windows for many years and there was no problem with it.

The tentative plan now is to have a separate Windows installer for the
GnuPG core which can be checked/installed by any GnuPG frontend and make
use of it.  The frontends should thus make sure that they work with 2.1.
This is a task for all frontends on all platforms and we need to work
out a few details.

> 1. How feasible would it be to restore the setting of GPG_AGENT_INFO
>    in the environment by gnupg-2.1.x? In other words, populate it on
>    startup as in the past to provide a seamless transition for users?

No - it has gone for a reason.

> 2. Assuming #1 is nixed, what would the suggested way of dealing with
>    this be? Keep in mind that both the "old" gnupg and gnupg-2.1.x
>    implementations have to be supported - is there a good way of 
>    querying this at runtime using some gnupg API?

Why do you want to support old versions?  This only leads to complex and
insecure code.  Please go with the stable version (2.0) and be prepared
for the next one.

Please do not use 1.4 with interactive applications. If it is about
decryption ancient PGP-2 mails, a simple filter plugin should be
sufficient and it can also rely on gpg-agent's Pinentry.  Don't do it in
your application - but see the discussion on Enigmail.



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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