Question about passphrase-fd

Matt Burkhardt mlb at
Fri Mar 12 11:27:45 CET 2010

On Thu, 2010-03-11 at 21:36 -0500, David Shaw 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? 

Here's the code that calls gpg for the encryption:

gpg --batch --no-secmem-warning --disable-mdc --symmetric --cipher-algo AES256 --passphrase-fd 3  3</var/lib/amanda/.am_passphrase

According to the man pages, it says not to use the --cipher-algo but
doesn't mention if that's needed in order to decrypt the files.  Would
that have to happen?


Matt Burkhardt
Impari Systems, Inc.

Customer Relationship Management Systems
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mlb at 
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