Another passphrase related question...

Werner Koch wk at
Fri Oct 27 15:34:49 CEST 2006

On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 14:19, Chris Walters said:

> The first question regards the maximum length of a passphrase - I would
> like to know what it is in GnuPG.  I know there is a practical limit to

There is no explicit one.  However the passphrase is put in secure
memory and thus in practise there is a limit.  A few hundered bytes
won't be a problem.

> The second one is, how does GnuPG handle "non-printable" characters,
> other than new line characters?  What I mean by this is basically

Not at all.  You better don't use any control characters but other
then that, gpg does not do anything with the entered passphrase.  It
would have been better if we had specified that the passphrase shall
be UTF-8 encoded.  we can't change that anymore and so you should
assume the passphrase is basically binary.  Take care, when using
Pinentry or another GUI there might be some translation done by the
GUI.  When usning the tty some characters are translated or ignored.
For example a tab is translated to a space and we ignore all control



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