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Enigmail Alert: GnuPG cannot query your passphrase via pineentry.

  • 3 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by christ1

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Hi, i'm now using Thunderbird (TB) v68.12.0 (64-bit) on macOS (v10.15.6/Catalina). Even few days earlier in my older TB, sending signed/encrypted email worked fine, but now its not anymore !

Yesterday i updated Thunderbird, as a notice message appeared from running TB, that, a new updated Thunderbird is available. One/few day(s) earlier of upating TB, an earlier notice message appeared from TB, & that showed a new GPG tool is available, so i updated into that. And now sending signed message/email is failing, after updating to TB v68.12.0.

My initial TB on this macOS was v68.8.1, in that, sending/receiving signed or encrypted+signed mails worked fine. Then on July 30 i updated into Thunderbird v68.11.0, and send/receive signed or encrypted+signed mails continued to work fine.

in current TB v68.12.0, after receiving a response message/email from a user, i'm doing these: right click on email > selected "Reply to sender only" > typed in my reply messages > ( Encrypt option icon is in disabled (cross-mark) state, & Sign option icon is enabled (w/green tick mark) , my this destination receiver person does not have a pub key ) > i pressed "Send" button > then i see this error code appears first: Note: sending signed messages to this same user succeeded earlier, (before updating TB).

then email sending stops with below error message:

so i'm showing extra info : screenshot (with private info obscured) of settings: imap settings:

smtp settings:

How to solve & overcome errors ?

i want to send signed msg to others. i want to send encrypted+signed msg to some users.

EDIT: i checked update History in TB, & now added here the last version that i was using.

Attached screenshots

Modified by atErik

Chosen solution

Hi Matt, thanks for the link & info. but i couldn't figure out which sub-page/sub-link will solve this problem.

Anyway, i searched again via DDG, with that error message.

Patrick Brunschwig solved similar problem in 2018 in Enigmail site at SourceForge:

my ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf file did not have an activated line with pinentry-program, so i did not need to edit+disable that type of line. so then, i executed: sudo killall gpg-agent

and after that, Sending signed or encrypted+signed are now succeeding/worked again. :)

By the way, before doing that(kill gpgagent): i have unSelected the option "Automatically Decrypt/Verify Messages" under "Enigmail" main-menu option in Thunderbird (TB) . But this didn't help either, signed-emails couldn't be sent, same error as before.

and i also noticed, that, the "OpenPGP Security" (in left side bar) option, under, has changed from my earlier settings into the "use email address of this identity to identify OpenPGP key" option, after upgrade to new TB !

so i have selected back my earlier settings, that is, i have selected the other option "Use specific OpenPGP key ID" : and selected my specific gpg key, as i use+have multiple keys for this same email account.

so now TB v68.12.0 is working.

is macOS TB v68.12.0 still using external gpg tool or internal oPGP(OpenPGP) ? ( i think, not 100% sure though, from this v68.12.0 in macOS, TB has began to use internal OpenPGP, but inside Enigmail settings its still showing the installed gpg2 , so i guess then, v68.12.0 is still using GPG tool for sign/encrypt ).

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All Replies (3)

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I will guess you are using Thunderbird 78. so this is all probably relevant.


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i posted an answer few hours earlier with solution to this problem , but i dont see it anymore !!

my answer was shown for a while, i edited & reposted, then some error was shown, and after that my answer is not shown anymore !!

can i get help from an Mozilla admin / mod on this issue to recover my previous answer ?


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my this destination receiver person does not have a pub key

In order to send an encrypted message you do need the recipients public key. There is no way around this.

is macOS TB v68.12.0 still using external gpg tool

Yes, and you'll need Enigmail for OpenPGP encryption.


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