confusing message: 'no pinentry'

Petr Uzel petr.uzel at
Tue Sep 2 14:37:57 CEST 2008

Hi list!

Today I've tried to generate gpg key as root and got the following error:

gpg: problem with the agent: No pinentry
gpg: Key generation canceled.

This seemed strange because I'm sure that I have pinentry (both -curses 
and -qt) properly installed.

Further investigation revealed that the problem only arises if I 'su' from my 
normal user account (running gpg-agent and thus with GPG_AGENT_INFO 
set). 'su' preserves GPG_AGENT_INFO variable and gpg then tries to connect to 
gpg-agent running under my normal account, and then gpg fails. When switched 
to root with 'su -', gpg works fine.

So the question is :

- is this a behavior a bug (using 'foreign' gpg-agent) ?
- if it is not a bug, shouldn't the error message be adjusted somehow ? (as it 
has nothing to do with pinentry IMHO)


Best regards / s pozdravem

Petr Uzel, Packages maintainer
SUSE LINUX, s.r.o.                          e-mail: petr.uzel at
Lihovarská 1060/12                          tel: +420 284 028 964
190 00 Prague 9                             fax: +420 284 028 951
Czech Republic                       

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