Why doesn't gpg-agent forwarding work?

Thomas Glanzmann thomas at glanzmann.de
Mon Oct 17 07:45:39 CEST 2016

Hello Kevin,

> GPG version on host: 2.1.15 (Debian stretch)
> GPG version on VM: 2.0.26 (Debian jessie)

gpg 2.0.26 does the gpg operations local and not using gnupg-agent.
Starting with the 2.1.x versions gnupg uses gnupg-agent for doing all
operations. As a result you need to have 2.1.x on the remote machine. On
the local you could have actually run 2.0 however your private key if
not stored on a smartcard would be exposed using the remote socket. Find
attached a build script do build gnupg 2.1.x for Debian jessie. Try not
to replace gnupg in the system because it would break to many things.
Instead install it to a separate location.

Build dependencies are:

sudo apt-get install texinfo transfig bison flex libbz2-dev libsqlite3-dev libgnutls28-dev pkg-config libusb-1.0-0-dev

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