GPG gives wierd data when trying to decrypt

John Clizbe JPClizbe at
Fri Apr 6 09:10:01 CEST 2007

Rocko wrote:
> When i try to decrypt a file the letters in the terminal window get
> crazy.
> its like they become encrypted, or maybe the terminal is displaying the
> encrypted file in the window, i really don't know.
> all i know is i can't decrypt any files that i've encrpyted.
> using gpg --decrypt filename
> on Unbuntu Dapper

Yep, that is GnuPG's normal behavior with --decrypt - writing its output to
stdout, your terminal window.

From the man page:

       -d, --decrypt [file]
                 Decrypt  file (or stdin if no file is specified) and write it
                 to stdout (or the  file  specified  with  --output).  If  the
                 decrypted  file  is  signed,  the signature is also verified.
                 This command differs from the default operation, as it  never
                 writes  to  the filename which is included in the file and it
                 rejects files which don't begin with an encrypted message.

If specifying --decrypt, you should also specify either '--output <filename>' or
redirect output, eg. gpg --decrypt encrypted-file > output-file.

Specifying only the encrypted filename to gpg should be all you need to do.
Without any commands, gpg will perform a reasonable action depending on the type
of file it is given as  input  (an encrypted  message  is  decrypted, a
signature is verified, etc...). It should write the decrypted file to the
filename stored in the encrypted file.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet:   John (a)
You can't spell fiasco without SCO. PGP/GPG KeyID: 0x608D2A10/0x18BB373A
"what's the key to success?"        / "two words: good decisions."
"what's the key to good decisions?" /  "one word: experience."
"how do i get experience?"          / "two words: bad decisions."

"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"

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