GnuPG News for January 2015

Werner Koch wk at
Mon Feb 16 17:24:52 CET 2015


Find below the plain text version of



1 GnuPG News for January 2015

This is the first issue of a series of status reports for the GnuPG
project.  It is quite late for a review of things which happened
January but unexpected (but meanwhile widely known) events prohibited
me from writing this earlies.  More on this in another article.

First the good news: In January I was contacted by the [Core
Infrastructure Initiative] with an offer to help funding the GnuPG
development.  I gladly accepted that that offer for 60,000 USD for
this year.  After short and exceptionally non-bureaucratic
negotiations we agreed on a contract which pays [g10^code] 5,000 USD
each month in 2015 for work on GnuPG.  That money will be used to pay
my, now increased, salary.  Thanks guys.

After the release of GnuPG 2.1.1 in late December quite some bugs were
reported for this new branch.  Thus most of my work was related to
fixing these bugs and prepare a bug fix release.  As usual Niibe
Yutaka helped a lot by taking care of the smartcard part and reviewing
other patches and bugs.  Some minor bugs and memory leaks were fixed
in that time as well as some code cleanup.

The move to automake 1.14 and gcc 4.9 required a bit of work.  The
update to the latest automake version was originally planned after the
release of Debian Jessie but for other reasons I had to update my
development box to to-be-Jessie already now and thus switching
automake was done right away.  This required only minor changes but
with all those libraries required by GnuPG 2.x, it nevertheless took
some days.  At that opportunity all the build-aux files (config.guess
et al.) were also updated to the latest version.  The code base is now
quite up to the latest development tools (at least in the repo).  gcc
4.9 prints a couple of new warnings and thus a few other code changes
were required as well.

I also took some days to play with the Windows port but finally
decided that there won't be a Windows installer for the forthcoming
2.1.2 versions.  We need to investigate on how to best package the
Windows binary version without having too much dependencies to
external libraries.  In particular GPGME with its dependencies on Glib
is still troublesome and this might need some re-packaging of GPGME.
The general idea for the 2.1 installer will be to package only the
GnuPG core without any GUI stuff and do that in a way which helps
other packages to use that one GnuPG version on Windows.  This has the
huge advantage that we can release updates to GnuPG without having
also to update all the other software which uses GnuPG under the hood.

After having fixed a couple of build problems of OS X, Patrick
Brunswick of Enigmail is meanwhile able to build an OS X installer
soon after a new GnuPG release and thus a link to this installer has
been added to the download page.

To allow for a one-stop key generation we also came up with an easy
way to generate a key without having to resort to Pinentry.  Even
after 15 or so years of the `--command-fd' based API to gpg, the first
request was filed to provide a stable interface to select the
algorithm: gpg has always printed a list of algorithm sets and asked
the user to enter the order number to select the algorithms.  However,
there was no way for a script to map algorithm names to these order
numbers.  It is surprising that it took so long until someone
requested a solid way of entering that.  It has been solved by
assigning fixed strings (see doc/DETAILS) to each algorithm and
allowing this string as an alternative to the order number.  Please do
not hesitate to ask on gnupg-devel@ for advise or ask for a new
feature.  If a new feature makes sense and fits into the overall
architecture then there is quite some chance that it will be added.
But we need to know about it.

Like in many years, January closed at that great hackers meeting in
Brussels.  Maybe next year there will be enough interest for a GnuPG
session and a booth as [FOSDEM].

[Core Infrastructure Initiative]



Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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