confusing message: 'no pinentry'

Petr Uzel petr.uzel at
Tue Sep 2 16:15:02 CEST 2008


Dne Tuesday 02 of September 2008 15:59:22 Steve Revilak napsal(a):
> Is there a pinentry in root's path?

Yes, it is in /usr/bin/pinentry (and /usr/bin is in root's path). In openSUSE, 
which I use, the /usr/bin/pinentry is a bash script that tries to determine, 
which pinentry (-qt, -curses, -gtk) to execute and then executes it.

> > 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.
> This sounds like normal behavior for su.  "su -" is supposed to
> simulate a full login of the target account; it discards most
> environment.  By contrast, "su" (without the minus) doesn't discard
> the environment.

I know all of this. My question was whether the gpg behavior under specified 
circumstances ('incorrect' GPG_AGENT_INFO env. variable) should not be 
adjusted somehow. 

In other words, I know how to solve my issue (use 'su -'/unset 
GPG_AGENT_INFO/killall gpg-agent/whatever), but I'm uncertain that all other 
gpg users know it too. Especially when the message about missing pinentry is 
quite confusing.

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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