enigmail vs. pinentry

09.12.2014 by Dirk Olmes

I recently got a new Laptop and installed it with Gentoo 64 bit. Along the process I had a hard time getting Thunderbird, the enigmail plugin and gnupg to play together nicely.

I had everything set up correctly (or so I thought) and the proper keys in place. But kept getting strange error messages from enigmail about missing passwords.

After hours of pointless poking around I found the culprit: gpg is trying to request passphrases via /usr/bin/pinentry but I did not even have a pinentry package installed.

So as a hint for anyone who may stuble over the same problem as I did:

emerge app-crypt/pinentry

and dont’ forget to enable one of the GUI keywords e.g. gtk or qt. To make sure that the pinentry link points to the correct binary run

eselect pinentry list

and select the correct variant.

Enjoy sending gpg secured mails!


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