add 'encipher' alias

Daniel Cerqueira dan.git at
Sat Dec 16 11:13:14 CET 2023

Werner Koch <wk at> writes:

> Hi!
> Thanks for the work you put into this.  However, I don't think that
> alias names for existing feature are a good idea.  The problem is that
> those aliases need to be maintained forever.  They don't add a new
> feature just a new name.

Indeed, they don't add a new feature.
I have read online, that questionnaire was made about the problems with
OpenPGP, and one of the problems people had was that they didn't know
what 'encipher' meant, that they didn't know that 'encipher' means the
same as 'encrypt'.
By making an alias, GnuPG is explicitly telling that these are the same.
GnuPG would still keep using --encrypt for it's documentation, so no
changes there. The modification is that there is a new word for an
already existing feature, for those that prefer using this word.

> It is debatable whether --encrypt or --encipher is the better term.  And
> which covers public key crypto and which symmetric crypto (-c)?

Just as --encrypt, --encipher covers public-key encryption.

> In any case you may simply use -e and avoid talking about the names
> ;-)

That is what I default to. I also find it cool to use --encipher and
--decipher .

Consider this patch.
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