Newbie question : GPgee and GPGshell etc..

Kurt Fitzner kfitzner at
Thu May 12 02:50:20 CEST 2005

gpg.20.subu at wrote:

> which one of these
> - GPGshell
> - WinPT
> - GPGee
> is better for a starter with GPG 

First of all, let's get some definitions down because it can become
confusing.  WinPT is both an application and a group of tools.  The
application, Windows Privacy Tray, sits in the Windows task tray and
gives you a GnuPG interface from there.  The group of tools is the tray
application bundled along with GnuPG itself.  This distinction will
become important later... for now, though, when I say "WinPT" I mean the
tray application, not the group of tools.

Now, to answer your question:  GPG Shell is an ok program but not really
designed for the GnuPG beginner.  What is does when you tell it to do
something is start the GngPG command for you and then dump you into a
command prompt with that GnuPG command running so you can finish it
(answer any questions GnuPG has for you).  So, if you want to edit a
key, it doesn't have a GUI mechanism to do so - it drops you into the
GnuPG edit key command and you have to type all the key editing commands
in. For a new person, WinPT will be easier to use.  It doesn't expose
quite as much of the inner workings of GnuPG - there are some things you
can't do with it, but what it does do is completely through a GUI.

Now, as far as GPGee goes, it isn't intended as a "competitor" to WinPT,
but more as a complement. WinPT is a tray application that gives you a
key manager and lets you perform GPG operations on the clipboard and the
current window.  GPGee isn't intended to do all that.  It is only a
Windows explorer shell extension.  It adds GnuPG commands to the windows
explorer right-click context menu.  So, if you want to simple sign,
encrypt, or verify one or more files, GPGee makes that very easy.  There
is no key management in it at all, so that would be something you would
do through WinPT.

The reason I made the distinction between the WinPT tray application and
the WinPT group of tools, is that GPGee is going to become one of the
tools included in WinPT.  Timo Schulz had a different shell extension
(WinFPSE) that was included in the WinPT bundle, but he wants to focus
more on the tray application, and I will focus on the explorer extension.

Hopefully once GPGee is in the bundle things will become less confusing
for the new people just looking for a good front end.


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