Windows / Linux encoding issues

Henry Hertz Hobbit hhhobbit at
Mon Jul 30 21:42:13 CEST 2007

Sacha < at> wrote:

> I've created my key pair using WinPT under Windows 2000. I used special
> characters (like ?, ?, ?, ?, etcetera) in my passphrase.
> Since a hard drive crash, I've installed Gentoo Linux on the computer
> and I can not found my Windows 2000 installation CD. I've successfully
> imported my private key in GnuPG from a backup, but when  I type my
> passphrase, GnuPG says that it's a bad passphrase.
> My idea is that there is a charset encoding issue, because under Linux I
> have UTF-8 in my X server and ISO-859-1 in the console. And what under
> Windows 2000 used is, I really don't know (Windows-1252 ? perhaps...).
> Can you suggest me something to find the right passphrase ?
> Thank you - very much.

Find somebody who has Windows system similar to what you had that
will let you use it, install GnuPG on it and import your keys on
to it.  If your keys work there (do a simple test with a file or
something), then change the password on your keys on that platform
to something much simpler with just ASCII characters (subset of
ISO-859-1).  I haven't used WinPT for a long while so if you can't
change the passwd in WinPT you will have to do a gpg --edit-key
and then passwd in a cmd.exe. BTW, I just COPY the pubring.gpg,
secring.gpg, and trustdb.gpg files as long as the chip is the
same, e.g., 32 bit Wintel -> 32 bit Wintel. It doesn't matter what
the OS is. I don't know how you backed up your keys though.

Did Windows-1252 precede ISO-859-1 like MacRoman?  I have a feeling
it did which of course doesn't help you.

Do you want to throw in EBCDIC to make matters worse?  Hope that
helps, but ...


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