EasyPG Assistant user’s manual
EasyPG Assistant is an Emacs user interface to GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG, see Top in Using the GNU Privacy Guard).
EasyPG Assistant is a part of the package called EasyPG, an all-in-one GnuPG interface for Emacs. EasyPG also contains the library interface called EasyPG Library.
This file describes EasyPG Assistant 1.0.0.
Copyright © 2007–2022 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual,” and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.
(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”
Table of Contents
- 1 Overview
- 2 Quick start
- 3 Commands
- 4 GnuPG version compatibility
- 5 Caching Passphrases
- 6 Bug Reports
- Appendix A GNU Free Documentation License
- Key Index
- Function Index
- Variable Index
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EasyPG Assistant provides the following features.
;; -*- epa-file-encrypt-to: ("firstname.lastname@example.org") -*-
Instead, if you want the file always (regardless of the value of the
epa-file-select-keys variable) encrypted with symmetric
encryption, change the line as follows.
;; -*- epa-file-encrypt-to: nil -*-
Other variables which control the automatic encryption/decryption behavior are below.
- Variable: epa-file-cache-passphrase-for-symmetric-encryption ¶
nil, cache passphrase for symmetric encryption. The default value is
- Variable: epa-file-inhibit-auto-save ¶
nil, disable auto-saving when opening an encrypted file. The default value is
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3.7 Querying a key server
epa-search-keys command can be used to query a
GPG key server. Emacs will then pop up a buffer that lists
the matches, and you can then fetch (and add) keys to your personal
In the key search buffer, you can use the f command to mark keys for fetching, and then x to fetch the keys (and incorporate them into your key ring).
epa-keyserver variable says which server to query.
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4 GnuPG version compatibility
As of February 2016, there are three active branches of GnuPG: 2.1, 2.0, and 1.4. All those branches should work flawlessly with Emacs with basic use-cases. They have, however, some incompatible characteristics, which might be visible when used from Emacs.
- The key store format used by GnuPG 2.1 is incompatible with 1.4. That means, a key created with GnuPG 2.1 is not visible with 1.4.
- GnuPG 2.1 uses a fixed address for the Unix domain socket used to
communicate with gpg-agent. The
GPG_AGENT_INFOenvironment variable, which is used by GnuPG 2.0 and 1.4, is ignored. That means, if your system has both GnuPG 2.1 and 1.4, the gpg command from GnuPG 1.4 is not able to use gpg-agent provided by 2.1 (at least out of box).
- GnuPG 2.1 (2.1.5 or later) has a mechanism to direct the Pinentry password prompt to the Emacs minibuffer1, which would be useful when you use Emacs remotely or from a text-only terminal. That feature is not available in other versions, and more specifically, with 2.0 (as of 2.0.29), there is no way to avoid the graphical prompt.
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5 Caching Passphrases
Typing passphrases is a troublesome task if you frequently open and close the same file. GnuPG and EasyPG Assistant provide mechanisms to remember your passphrases for a limited time. Using these, you only need to re-enter the passphrase occasionally. However, the configuration is a bit confusing since it depends on your GnuPG installationSee GnuPG version compatibility, encryption method (symmetric or public key), and whether or not you want to use gpg-agent. Here are some questions:
- Do you use GnuPG version 2.1 or 2.0 instead of GnuPG version 1.4?
- Do you use symmetric encryption rather than public key encryption?
- Do you want to use gpg-agent?
Here are configurations depending on your answers:
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Set up gpg-agent.|
|Yes||Yes||No||You can’t, without gpg-agent.|
|Yes||No||Yes||Set up gpg-agent.|
|Yes||No||No||You can’t, without gpg-agent.|
|No||Yes||Yes||Set up elisp passphrase cache.|
|No||Yes||No||Set up elisp passphrase cache.|
|No||No||Yes||Set up gpg-agent.|
|No||No||No||You can’t, without gpg-agent.|
To set up gpg-agent, follow the instruction in GnuPG manual. see (gnupg)Invoking GPG-AGENT.
To set up elisp passphrase cache, set
See Encrypting/decrypting gpg files.
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6 Bug Reports
Bugs and problems with EasyPG Assistant are actively worked on by the Emacs development team. Feature requests and suggestions are also more than welcome. Use M-x report-emacs-bug, see Bugs in Reporting Bugs.
When submitting a bug report, please try to describe in excruciating detail the steps required to reproduce the problem. Also try to collect necessary information to fix the bug, such as:
- the GnuPG version. Send the output of ‘gpg --version’.
- the GnuPG configuration. Send the contents of ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf.
Before reporting the bug, you should set
epg-debug in the
~/.emacs file and repeat the bug. Then, include the contents
of the *epg-debug* buffer. Note that the first letter of the
buffer name is a whitespace.
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Appendix A GNU Free Documentation License
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. https://fsf.org/ Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
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This License is a kind of “copyleft”, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software.
We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.
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Next: Variable Index, Previous: Key Index, Up: EasyPG Assistant user’s manual [Contents][Index]
Previous: Function Index, Up: EasyPG Assistant user’s manual [Contents][Index]
To enable this feature, add ‘allow-emacs-pinentry’ to ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf and let gpg-agent reload the configuration, with: ‘gpgconf --reload gpg-agent’