Thoughts on GnuPG and automation

Brian Minton brian at
Fri Feb 27 15:52:12 CET 2015

Yes, but the colon protocol doesn't support things like passphrase entry, etc.

On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Peter Lebbing <peter at> wrote:
> On 27/02/15 12:02, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
>> For example, I think that
>> `gpg --json` is great idea.  I ended up using a Java wrapper of GPGME, which
>> is in turn a wrapper of GnuPG.  I think it makes a lot more sense to have `gpg
>> --json` as the parseble interface, then implement a GPGME-style framework in
>> each language (Python, Java, etc).
> I'd say the JSON interface could just be an additional set of functions in
> GPGME; and GPGME simply talks the old colon-separated protocol to the gpg
> binary. You can't just take out the colon-separated protocol, and that protocol
> has all the information. You could simply have GPGME reformat the output.
> Unless you mean that you want to speak to the gpg binary yourself, without GPGME
> in between. In that, case, I simply think you might be on the wrong track, and
> should use a library. If GPGME itself is a problem because you don't know what
> platform you should compile for, like in Python, then the library could be
> re-implemented in pure Python instead of using a foreign function interface.
> The old calling conventions of the binary cannot change, otherwise you'd break
> everything that already depends on it. And adding multiple ways of doing the
> same thing in the gpg binary seems the wrong place; more code, more chance of
> bugs, etcetera. This is where libraries come in, to save you the burden of
> working with the gpg binary.
> HTH,
> Peter.
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