help needed desperately: gpg --decrypt hanging

Dave Della Costa dave at
Fri Oct 31 15:03:15 CET 2003

Yes David, that does work--here's the body of an email I send to someone
else, didn't realize I wasn't sending to the list, sorry:

On Fri, 2003-10-31 at 13:53, Newton Hammet wrote:
> 1. What exactly are you typing on the command line?
> gpg --decrypt
> will hang.  it is waiting for input from stdin.

I understand.   So, I give it input--a piece of encrypted text, and it
gives me this output:

You need a passphrase to unlock the secret key for
user: "xxxx xxxxxx <xxxxx at>"
2048-bit ELG-E key, ID XXXXXXXX, created 2002-02-18 (main key ID

Enter passphrase:

I then enter the passphrase, and I see this, and nothing else, until I
hit ctrl-c:

gpg: encrypted with 2048-bit ELG-E key, ID E66D9B0B, created 2002-02-18
      "Jason Feingold <orders at>"

So, I guess this is improper usage then?  Why does it let me get this
far, i.e. asks for a passphrase and whatnot?

The other thing that is strange to me is that the Crypt::GPG package
that I'm using with perl worked fine before I started messing with this
stuff yesterday, now it does not.  I assume this is because it is
somehow using the same method to hand information to gpg for decryption,
but I'm not positive.  Obviously that is not a question for this list. 
But I'd like to verify that the usage I'm trying above is incorrect and
then I'll try to figure that out.

> the following should not hang :::
> gpg --decrypt encrypted.file
> -or-
> cat encrypted.file | gpg --decrypt

You're right, these two methods *do* work.

So, worse case scenario I use some shell scripting making these sorts of
calls rather than the Crypt::GPG package with I'm guessing tries in the
same way to decrypt as I am above.

> Try editting the keys you have imported:
> gpg --edit-key <keyid>
> where "<keyid>" is a place holder for some key on key ring you know
> the password to.
> See if that hangs...

I was able to run gpg --edit-key on the key I've been trying to use to
decrypt with, I changed the owner trust and then ctrl-c'ed out of
there.  So I guess that is working fine.

> just quit from that command line w/o saving any changes.
> Hope this helps.
> Let me know if you have more information or more questions.
> I know the above may be stupid questions but I always start there

Absolutely; I understand.

> Regards,
> Newton

Thanks Newton.


On Fri, 2003-10-31 at 14:32, David Shaw wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 31, 2003 at 01:52:04PM -0500, Dave Della Costa wrote:
> > Sorry Steve, I don't think I explained the problem well enough.  If I
> > run, on the command line:
> > 
> > gpg --decrypt
> > 
> > Then I pass it the encrypted text to decrypt, and then I give it the
> > password, it just hangs!  It sits and sits and sits...and we get
> > nothing.
> First things first.  If you put the data in a file, and run:
>   gpg thefile.gpg
> Does it work properly?
> David
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