GnuPGv2 & 'pinentry' on Linux w/ remote access

Sander Smeenk ssmeenk at
Thu Dec 14 15:57:58 CET 2017

Quoting Ryan Beethe (ryan at

> I also was frustrated with how GPG pinentry worked by default. 
> What I did was write a custom pinentry wrapper, which I call rpinentry.
> It just dispaches either the curses-based pinentry or a gui pinentry
> based on the environment variable PINENTRY_USER_DATA which is read by
> gpg and passed to the pinentry program

I remembered i never followed up on this thread anymore.
Mostly because i had to make sure the setup now works as intended.
And it does.

Ryan, thank you so much for the pinentry wrapper idea / env-vars trick.

I still think it's a stupendous amount of effort to make this work but
at least it does. From vim, from mutt, from Ansible, on my urxvt
terminals, through ssh, anything that needs my GPG key(s) can now
prompt me for passwords.

Thanks a bundle.

For the mailinglist archives, see the previous post(s) by Ryan in this
thread for a working solution to this problem!

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