trevcan@internets /dev/human $

Why is GnuPG / GPG acting up ?

Posted on: 11/08/21 23:40:33
Last edited: 04/03/22 19:28:44

After trying several things to fix encryption and decryption in GnuPG I have no real hopes. I honestly don’t know what to do but to keep asking. I’ve searched on stackoverflow for pinentry and gpg-agent acting up and taking too much time and I only found one stack overflow question [0] which didn’t get that close to my issue. It slows down when using the pinentry-curses, pinentry-gtk-2 binaries.

edit: I found out the problem! Thanks to u/xXbobby123Xx for discovering the solution, and this GNU forum: it appears to be a bug in gnome-keyring.

Uninstalling the gnome-keyring is the solution for now.

there appear to be 2 forum posts: - - (this url is kinda broken but didn’t use to be)

the problem

I’ve been using the [] program for quite a while now, about 8 months I’d say. All was going well until about 3 weeks ago. I don’t know what happened, what caused it or why. Pass started acting up, it took from 20 to 30 seconds what used to take literally 1 second. The pinentry-gtk-2 program was taking a whole lot of time to start. So I dug deeper. Eventually I found out that it definitely had something to do with GnuPG as decrypting files directly through GnuPG also yielded the same results, after all, pass is just a bash script that uses gpg encryption and decryption commands. So then I went searching on the internets and it was pretty bad. I couldn’t really find any information regarding GnuPG acting up except for [0], which

reddit post

source: [1]

First of all, your help, any help would be greatly appreciated.

Maybe this will be Unix/Linux specific, i don’t really know.

Hello. I’ve tried almost* everything to get gpg up and running but it just, won’t work! So, storytime. Almost after I went full linux I stumbled upon pass, a great tool to manage passwords in a convenient way. I’ve been using it for around 8-9 months. And it’s worked like a charm, until about 3 weeks ago. I don’t know if this was a system upgrade or something but point is, it just slowed way down. When requesting a password, it’d take anywhere from 20 to 40 seconds to just show the pinentry binary (the one that asks you for the password), in particular, the pinentry-gtk-2, but guess what? I tried using the ncurses version also and it didn’t work! I tried decrypting and encrypting files directly by using gpg, but yielded the same results!, cause after all, pass is just a bash script that uses gpg commands for encryption and decryption. So, yeah. After that, I tried searching on the internets, but didn’t stumble upon anything at all except for this which didn’t seem to solve the problem, as my problem happened with all pinentry* binaries (yes, even pinentry-tty !!). I tried the solution but it didn’t work. Later on, actually yesterday, I hopped onto libera IRC to join the gnupg channel, as suggested by members in the pass channel, as this is clearly much more specific to gpg. In the gnupg channel I had the fortune to be able to talk to someone to walk me through a ton of things. Testing, after testing and testing. We even tried creating less-resource intensive keys, creating temporary gnu directories to store keys in, et cetera. I’m documenting most (if not all, ) this info at this website .

Also, I should point out that the behaviour is not intermittent, it is definitely constant. I do have a password cache enabled, but every time time has passed or I manually clear the password cache (with echo RELOADAGENT | gpg-connect-agent and then gpgconf --kill all) the same behaviour happens.

I haven’t tried this yet, but maybe later in the day I’ll try booting off a linux arch iso and trying to install gpg and checking if it’s my laptop or something…

*maybe i will reinstall arch linux

edit: add behaviour


Arch Linux. Hardware: T490. 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD. Intel core i7 8th gen.

neofetch [2]

$ uname --all
Linux t490-4rch 5.14.9-zen2-1-zen #1 ZEN SMP PREEMPT Fri, 01 Oct 2021 19:03:23 +0000 x86_64 GNU/Linux


strace pass show Test/random > 2>&1