Secure text editor?

Thomas Vollmer thomas-ml at
Tue May 15 14:21:48 CEST 2007

On Dienstag, 15. Mai 2007, Henry Hertz Hobbit wrote:
> Thomas Vollmer wrote:
> <SNIP>
> First, at this point I am reluctant to have all of this in the
> newsgroup.  I am strongly in favor of giving only what works
> there.  I don't think most people are interested in all of the
> nitty gritty details.  They just want what works (actually, so
> do I).  I hate books that show me 15 ways of doing something
> wrong before they show the correct way of doing it.  Even if
> somebody finally shows me the right way of doing it, I will
> find some of  the wrong ways of doing it myself (I just did it
> right now in this instance).  I was excoriated by Robert Hansen
> for spamming so I am going out of group as much as possible for
> now.

First, this is not a newsgroup, but a mailingl list. Second, newsgroups 
and mailingslist are not a FAQ. They are for discussions. So everybody 
could help with problems while finding the solution.

> But this is NOT an esoteric exercise.  I really do need this.
> But I need it on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris, and
> > Do You have the gpg-agent running? This is required for gvim.
> I do NOT have gpg-agent running, and it said NOTHING about that
> on the web page:

Look at the release notes of version 1605. You find them right from the 
download link.

There You will find:

"- new plugin options to set preferences for symmetric/asymmetric and 
armor/binary files
- fix for use with gvim. !! plugin works only in gvim if gpg-agent is 
available !!"

> A search with the terms:
> gpg-agent gnupg.vim
> at Google yields only three articles.  That tells you how much
> information is available on this (and yes, a Google search goes
> into the GnuPG forum archives).  In other words, we are entering
> into esoteric terrritory.  Contrast that with me investigating
> a domain only to find that I have to add the terms -statistics
> -squid -proxy to reduce the number to a manageable level of a
> thousand or so entries for a domain that I am investigating for
> abuse.
> I am using GnuPG 1.4.7 and that is all that will be available
> on Windows as well. Do we need GnuPG 2.0.X, or can we use
> GnuPG 1.4.7?  Please remember that the original poster specified
> that they are using Windows. I will hold off my post to the
> newsgroup (which I was getting ready to do) until I can get this
> all hammered out on what is required. Please keep in mind that
> there are no binaries for either gpg-agent or libassuan on Windows
> that are available separately.  I will look at the latest version
> of GPG4Win today.  Up until now all I have ever installed was
> GnuPG itself on Windows.

I dont use gnupg on Windows boxes, so I cant tell You what package You 
need to get the gpg-agent. AFAIK before the Agent moved into the gnupg2 
package there was a standalone package. But this should be way old now.

> The gnupg.vim people should clearly specify ALL of the requirements

As I see for now, they do.

> What are the requirements besides gpg-agent?  I assumed that since
> they mentioned vim version 6.0 and I am using 6.3.86 on FC3 Linux
> and gvim 7.0 on Windows XP the requirements wouldn't be all that
> stiff.  Evidently, I was wrong.  Please specify EVERYTHING that
> is needed, since they didn't.  I am assuming we also need
> libassuan. Is that all that is needed or is there more? I don't
> know what all of the requirements are.  Keep in mind MS Windows
> in this discussion.  I need this to work across ALL platforms
> that I am using and that is Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Macs.
> Note that I am editing only symmetric encrypted files (no OpenPGP
> asymmetric encryption is being used).  In other words, why should
> I need gpg-agent?  I can understand why it is needed for OpenPGP
> (asymmetric) encryption, but not why it is needed for symmetric
> encryption. I still can't see why that would cause a problem,
> since it does the test for symmetric encryption first.

gpg-agent only handels the mantra input. Because of this the gnupg plugin 
needs it für the GUI vim. There is no console which can be used for the 
input and a GUI dialog is needed. This is what gpg-agent does.

> I tried these modifications to gnupg.vim so I can edit only
> symmetric encrypted files:
> --- gnupg.vim.2007May15 2007-05-15 04:29:06.000000000 -0600
> +++ gnupg.vim   2007-05-15 04:25:40.000000000 -0600
> @@ -109,15 +109,15 @@
>    " check if gpg-agent is allowed
>    if (!exists("g:GPGUseAgent"))
> -    let g:GPGUseAgent = 1
> +    let g:GPGUseAgent = 0
>    endif
>    " check if symmetric encryption is preferred
>    if (!exists("g:GPGPreferSymmetric"))
> -    let g:GPGPreferSymmetric = 0
> +    let g:GPGPreferSymmetric = 1
>    endif
>    " check if armored files are preferred
>    if (!exists("g:GPGPreferArmor"))
> -    let g:GPGPreferArmor = 0
> +    let g:GPGPreferArmor = 1
>    endif
> but of course, that didn't work.


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