John Clizbe JPClizbe at
Wed Feb 6 23:48:08 CET 2008

SeidlS at wrote:
> I am not a encryption expert, and need some help from the GnuPG user group.
> We have a new software product that has the capability of encrypting
> documents using SMIME.  How common is SMIME and used outside of email
> clients?  Is it compatible with the OpenPGP standard, and thus GnuPG?  Is
> there a good website discussing the differences between the two standards?

S/MIME is common in a majority of email clients
( ), much more
so than its use. The Wikipedia S/MIME article summarizes some of the more common
obstacles to S/MIME adoption as well as a few caveats.

S/MIME itself is not used outside of email apps, however the certificates
(keys), sometimes referred to as X.509 certificates, S/MIME uses are able to be
used by other apps, eg for digital signatures in applications such as Open
Office, MS Office and Adobe Acrobat, and for encryption in IM programs such as AIM.

The creation and management of the certificates themselves, the Certificate
Authority (CA), is usually the major task of establishing an enterprise PKI.

John P. Clizbe                   Inet:   JPClizbe (a) tx DAWT rr DAHT com
Ginger Bear Networks             hkp://
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss, "Oh the Places You'll Go"

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