Truncated file in GPG?

Neil Williams linux at
Tue Jun 22 15:10:41 CEST 2004

On Tuesday 22 June 2004 1:12, Charles wrote:
> Hello all,
> I'm running GPG version 1.0.6 on Debian stable for the first time.

You might find better results if you can use Debian testing or unstable - I've 
been using unstable for months now without problems. GnuPG in unstable is v 

> Kernel version is 2.4.18. (I sent this to the Debian mailing list, but
> didn't get a response--I'm not sure it is Debian specific.)

It might not even be Linux specific, see later.

> I'm trying 
> to perform a relatively simple task: encrypt a big MS Outlook mail
> archive file so that only I can decrypt it. I created a key for myself,
> and encrypted the file with
> gpg -e -r Charles mail.pst

Where is this command being executed? There have been problems encrypting 
large files on Windows and this might be down to Windows memory management 
(which wouldn't affect you) or Windows filesystem management (which could). 
Do an md5sum of the original file, copy it to a genuine Linux filesystem, 
md5sum it and compare. Then try the encryption.

> mail.pst is a 116MB file.

But probably only contains 60Mb of mail. (Been there, done that.) It would be 
easy if you could export mail messages as files in a batch operation.

> The resulting mail.pst.gpg is 80MB. Something is clearly wrong. Though
> I'm aware GPG has compression, .PST is already a pretty compressed
> format. 

?? Last time I used it, it was a completely bloated format!

One option: use a utility to farm these messages out into a directory as 
discrete files - far easier to view and read later. I had horrendous trouble 
getting archived mailboxes back into MS clients before I adopted KMail. I now 
use MHonArc (a perl script) to archive the mail into HTML. It's far easier 
and it's how most mail archives operate across the web. Easy to read, well 
indexed, easy to search. Example:

Eudora can be very useful in converting different mailbox formats and it 
writes into a true Unix/Linux format.

Anything that converts into a open standard is going to make it easy to 
archive, encrypt and process. 


Neil Williams
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