GPG for Backups
I had run a normal
gpg-agent as people expect for things like
mutt and handling special files and I ran another
gpg-agent that didn’t use the standard socket and cached my backup key’s passphrase so that the backups run without user intervention. Seemed like a good compromise where my backup keys were more accessible then my other gpg keys. What else could you do if it’s going to run daily via systemd-timers?
GnuPG 2.1 Kills GPG_AGENT_INFO
The release notes say:
The classic way to run gpg-agent on Unix systems is by launching it at login time and use an environment variable (GPG_AGENT_INFO) to tell the other GnuPG modules how to connect to the agent. However, correctly managing the start up and this environment variable is cumbersome so that that an easier method is required. Since GnuPG 2.0.16 the --use-standard-socket option already allowed to start the agent on the fly; however the environment variable was still required. With GnuPG 2.1 the need of GPG_AGENT_INFO has been completely removed and the variable is ignored. Instead a fixed Unix domain socket named S.gpg-agent in the GnuPG home directory (by default ~/.gnupg) is used. The agent is also started on demand by all tools requiring services from the agent.
And that broke my GPG encrypted backup setup.
--use-standard-socket --no-use-standard-socket Since GnuPG 2.1 the standard socket is always used. These options have no more effect.
GNUPGHOME if you need a separate home for GnuPG, you’ll need to copy your keys over. I started with this approach and it worked fine, but felt clumsy.
allow-preset-passphrase to cache my backup encryption key passphrase. I’ll need to unlock it once per boot, but at least the passphrase never hits the hard drive. Allow the passphrase to remain for 100 days, which should be reasonable as I end up rebooting for new kernels and what not.
gpg-agentmanually using systemd unit file (Gotta love systemd on Arch) so that our custom arguments take affect. If GnuPG autostarts itself, I’ll miss these two critical arguments and it doesn’t appear that I can store them in a config file:
[Unit] Description=GPG private key agent IgnoreOnIsolate=true [Service] Type=forking # Start GPG manually so that precise arguments can be passed. Would be nice if # gpgconf added support for allow-preset-password ExecStart=/usr/bin/gpg-agent --daemon --allow-preset-passphrase --max-cache-ttl 8640000 Restart=on-abort [Install] WantedBy=default.target
Start the systemd service and kill any old
killall gpg-agent systemctl --user start gpg-agent
Determine the key grip:
Add the key manually with a simple script every time I reboot. There won’t be a prompt, it will just read your key from stdin:
/usr/lib/gnupg/gpg-preset-passphrase -v --preset 33B64BFB62BBC97A516C00AC5D10DC1C4BF1438A
Test it by signing a quick message, it shouldn’t prompt you for the password:
$ echo test | gpg -a -s -u 80A52AF1 -----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE----- Version: GnuPG v2 [...] -----END PGP MESSAGE-----
GPG For Mutt
GPG also broke my mutt mail client integration. My migration to gpgme for mutt was overdue it appears.