Using GnuPG when switching users

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Wed Jan 31 17:00:05 CET 2018

On Mon 2018-01-29 15:44:56 +1300, Dan Horne wrote:
> Has someone got a workaround? I need to be able to use "su" as we are not
> allowed to log into the user directly. I'm also stuck with Solaris and the
> specified version of GnuPG

the problem you're running into is that pinentry is unable to prompt you
for a password.

as a workaround, you could create your own pinentry that provides a
password, or that can prompt you in some other way.  You might be
interested in some dummy pinentry implementations:

For an actual fix, you've got quite a set of constraints here, and they
might just mean that you cannot solve the problem without a workaround.

Please note that the 2.0.x branch of GnuPG is no longer supported by the

I *strongly* recommend that you try to get the 2.2.* branch installed
and then you'll be able to use the loopback pinentry-mode.  And you'll
be running supported software.


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