how to disable pinentry

Smith, Cathy Cathy.Smith at
Wed Feb 25 02:01:27 CET 2015


Can someone tell the how to disable pinentry?  I'd like to be able to run gpg --edit-key, or to open a password encrypted file without a GUI.  I was able to do that in RHEL5, but so far, not in RHEL6 or CentOS 6.

I have gpg 2.0.14 on CentOS 6.6 and RHEL6U6.

I've tried to disable pinentry, without success, with the following
	1. comment out use-agent in ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf
	2. unset the following variables

I've had less success on RHEL6 box as there is not a default line, use-agent, in the gpg.conf file.  On the CentOS box, when I try to run the passwd command in gpg --edit-key, I get the message:
	can't connect to /home/foo/.gnupg/S.gpg-agent': No such file or directory

I did not see a gpg-agent daemon running on either box.  I ran a ps command while the gpg-edit-key was running.

Thank you.

Cathy L. Smith
IT Engineer

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Operated by Battelle for the
U.S. Department of Energy

Phone:      509.375.2687
Fax:        509.375.2330
Email:      cathy.smith at

-----Original Message-----
From: gnupg-users-bounces at [mailto:gnupg-users-bounces at] On Behalf Of Robert J. Hansen
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:32 PM
To: gnupg-users at
Subject: Re: Deniability

On 3/23/11 3:06 PM, Mark H. Wood wrote:
> My suspicion is that we never had anywhere near as much privacy as 
> many believe.  A hundred years ago...

I grew up in a small town of under 5,000, where the nearest city of more than 20,000 was an hour's drive away.  Forget "a hundred years ago":
having been back there recently for a funeral, I can tell you small towns are still that same way today.

In a sense, I think this validates my thesis.  In a small town the cost of sharing information about people within the town, to people within the town, is just about nil: you wind up having these conversations while you're at the service station filling up your tank, when you're in line at the grocery store, when you're ... etc.  But having these same conversations with people outside the town involves effort, which in turn means that you can travel 100 miles and be reasonably confident nobody there has heard of you.

I agree that the small-town phenomenon argues against the idea of an idyllic privacy past.  I just think modern communications means the entire world is turning into a small-town phenomena.

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