Question about passphrase-fd

David Shaw dshaw at
Fri Mar 12 03:36:03 CET 2010

On Mar 11, 2010, at 7:40 PM, Matt Burkhardt wrote:

> Long story short, I use amanda for my backups and I've been using encryptsimple for my backups.  My PC died completely, and I'm trying to get the backups onto another machine.  I've stepped through the programs and have found that it's calling gpg with 
> gpg --batch --quiet --no-mdc-warning --decrypt --passphrase-fd 3  3</var/lib/amanda/.am_passphrase
> I was under the impression that the passphrase (.am_passphrase) was just a clear text secret phrase.  However, the gpg call errors out with:
> gpg: decryption failed: bad key

The "bad key" error doesn't mean the passphrase is wrong (that would be "invalid passphrase").  It often means that the file you are decrypting is corrupt.  Was the file you are decrypting encrypted with a passphrase only or with a public key?


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