Why exactly does pinentry fails with gpg-agent and ssh support?

Doron Behar doron.behar at gmail.com
Tue Jan 23 16:35:12 CET 2018

I'm glad to hear your comments guys. I've posted a bug report on ssh'
bug tracker: https://bugzilla.mindrot.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2824

On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 08:43:41AM +0100, Werner Koch wrote:
> On Sun, 21 Jan 2018 17:41, doron.behar at gmail.com said:
> > As far as I understand, because I use `systemd`'s user service, whenever
> > I want to unlock an authentication key I need to run the command
> > `gpg-connect-agent updatestartuptty /bye`.
> Although I have no experience with the peculiarities of the --supervised
> mode, there is no need to run the updatestartuptty command.  That command
> is only used to switch gpg-agent's default $DISPLAY and tty to the one
> active in the shell you run this command.  This is required because the
> ssh-agent protocol has no way to tell gpg-agent (or ssh-agent) the
> DISPLAY/tty which shall be used to pop-up the Pinentry.
> Another problem with ssh is that ssh can't start gpg-agent on the the
> fly.  Thus you need to make sure that gpg-agent has already been started
> when you use ssh.  A way to ensure this is to run 
>   gpg -K
> which lists all your private keys and as a side-effects starts
> gpg-agent.  You can also do
>   gpg-connect-agent /bye
> because it exhibits the same side-effect.  The suggested way to start
> gpg-agent for ssh is to use
>   gpgconf --launch gpg-agent
> Salam-Shalom,
>    Werner
> p.s.
> And the best solution would be to extended the ssh-agent protocol
> and openssh to allow starting of an arbitrary process and conveying some
> environment variables.
> -- 
> Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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