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Introduction
************

This manual documents how to use the PINENTRY and its protocol.

   The PINENTRY is a small GUI application used to enter PINs or
passphrases. It is usually invoked by GPG-AGENT (*note Invoking the
gpg-agent: (gnupg)Invoking GPG-AGENT, for details).

   PINENTRY comes in 3 flavors to fit the look and feel of the used GUI
toolkit:  A GTK+ based one named `pinentry-gtk', a QT based one named
`pinentry-qt' and a non-graphical one based on curses and named
`pinentry-curses'.  Not all of them might be available on your
installation.  If curses is supported on your system, the GUI based
flavors fall back to curses when the `DISPLAY' variable is not set.

* Menu:

* Using pinentry::      How to use the beast.

Developer information

* Protocol::            The Assuan protocol description.

Miscellaneous

* Copying::             GNU General Public License says
                        how you can copy and share PIN-Entry
                        as well as this manual.

Indices

* Option Index::        Index to command line options.
* Index::	        Index of concepts and symbol names.

File: pinentry.info,  Node: Using pinentry,  Next: Protocol,  Prev: Top,  Up: Top

1 How to use the PINENTRY
*************************

You may run PINENTRY directly from the command line and pass the
commands according to the Assuan protocol via stdin/stdout.

   Here is a list of options supported by all 3 flavors of pinentry

`--version'
     Print the program version and licensing information.

`--help'
     Print a usage message summarizing the most useful command line
     options.

`--debug'
`-d'
     Turn on some debugging.  Mostly useful for the maintainers.  Note
     that this may reveal sensitive information like the entered
     passphrase.

`--enhanced'
`-e'
     Ask for timeouts and insurance, too.  Note that this is currently
     not fully supported.

`--no-global-grab'
`-g'
     Grab the keyboard only when the window is focused.  Use this
     option if you are debugging software using the PINENTRY; otherwise
     you may not be able to to access your X session anymore (unless
     you have other means to connect to the machine to kill the
     PINENTRY).

`--parent-wid N'
     Use window ID N as the parent window for positioning the window.
     Note, that this is not fully supported by all flavors of PINENTRY.

`--display STRING'
`--ttyname STRING'
`--ttytype STRING'
`--lc-ctype STRING'
`--lc-messages STRING'
     These options are used to pass localization information to
     PINENTRY.  They are required because PINENTRY is usually called by
     some background process which does not have any information on the
     locale and terminal to use.  Assuan protocol options are an
     alternative way to pass these information.


File: pinentry.info,  Node: Protocol,  Next: Copying,  Prev: Using pinentry,  Up: Top

2 pinentry's Assuan Protocol
****************************

The PIN-Entry should never service more than one connection at once.
It is reasonable to exec the PIN-Entry prior to a request.

   The PIN-Entry does not need to stay in memory because the GPG-AGENT
has the ability to cache passphrases.  The usual way to run the
PIN-Entry is by setting up a pipe (and not a socket) and then fork/exec
the PIN-Entry.  The communication is then done by means of the protocol
described here until the client is satisfied with the result.

   Although it is called a PIN-Entry, it does allow to enter reasonably
long strings (at least 2048 characters are supported by every
pinentry).  The client using the PIN-Entry has to check for correctness.

   Note that all strings are expected to be encoded as UTF-8; PINENTRY
takes care of converting it to the locally used codeset.  To include
linefeeds or other special characters, you may percent-escape them
(i.e. a line feed is encoded as `%0A', the percent sign itself is
encoded as `%25').

   Here is the list of supported commands:

`Set the descriptive text to be displayed'
            C: SETDESC Enter PIN for Richard Nixon <nobody AT trickydicky.gov>
            S: OK

`Set the prompt to be shown'
     When asking for a PIN, set the text just before the widget for
     passphrase entry.
            C: SETPROMPT PIN:
            S: OK

`Set the window title'
     This command may be used to change the default window title.  When
     using this feature you should take care that the window is still
     identifiable as the pinentry.
            C: SETTITLE Tape Recorder Room
            S: OK

`Set the button texts'
     There are two text with can be set to override the English
     defaults:

     To set the text for the button signaling confirmation (in UTF-8).
            C: SETOK Yes
            S: OK

     To set the text for the button signaling cancellation or
     disagreement (in UTF-8).
            C: SETCANCEL No
            S: OK

`Set the Error text'
     This is used by the client to display an error message.  In
     contrast to the other commands this error message is automatically
     reset with a GETPIN or CONFIRM, and is only displayed when asking
     for a PIN.
            C: SETERROR Invalid PIN entered - please try again
            S: OK

`Enable a passphrase quality indicator'
     Adds a quality indicator to the GETPIN window.  This indicator is
     updated as the passphrase is typed.  The clients needs to
     implement an inquiry named "QUALITY" which gets passed the current
     passpharse (percent-plus escaped) and should send back a string
     with a single numerical vauelue between -100 and 100.  Negative
     values will be displayed in red.
            C: SETQUALITYBAR
            S: OK

     If a custom label for the quality bar is required, just add that
     label as an argument as percent escaped string.  You will need
     this feature to translate the label because pinentry has no
     internal gettext except for stock strings from the toolkit library.

     If you want to show a tooltip for the quality bar, you may use
            C: SETQUALITYBAR_TT string
            S: OK

     With STRING being a percent escaped string shown as the tooltip.

`Ask for a PIN'
     The meat of this tool is to ask for a passphrase of PIN, it is
     done with this command:
            C: GETPIN
            S: D no more tapes
            S: OK
     Note that the passphrase is transmitted in clear using standard
     data responses.  Expect it to be in UTF-8.

`Ask for confirmation'
     To ask for a confirmation (yes or no), you can use this command:
            C: CONFIRM
            S: OK
     The client should use SETDESC to set an appropriate text before
     issuing this command, and may use SETPROMPT to set the button
     texts.  The value returned is either OK for YES or the error code
     `ASSUAN_Not_Confirmed'.

`Show a message'
     To show a message, you can use this command:
            C: MESSAGE
            S: OK
     alternativly you may add an option to confirm:
            C: CONFIRM --one-button
            S: OK
     The client should use SETDESC to set an appropriate text before
     issuing this command, and may use SETOK to set the text for the
     dismiss button.  The value returned is OK or an error message.

`Set the output device'
     When using X, the PINENTRY program must be invoked with an
     appropriate `DISPLAY' environment variable or the `--display'
     option.

     When using a text terminal:
            C: OPTION ttyname=/dev/tty3
            S: OK
            C: OPTION ttytype=vt100
            S: OK
            C: OPTION lc-ctype=de_DE.UTF-8
            S: OK
     The client should use the `ttyname' option to set the output TTY
     file name, the `ttytype' option to the `TERM' variable appropriate
     for this tty and `lc-ctype' to the locale which defines the
     character set to use for this terminal.


File: pinentry.info,  Node: Copying,  Next: Option Index,  Prev: Protocol,  Up: Top

Appendix A GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
*************************************

                         Version 2, June 1991

     Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
     59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA

     Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
     of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

A.0.1 Preamble
--------------

The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom
to share and change it.  By contrast, the GNU General Public License is
intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free
software--to make sure the software is free for all its users.  This
General Public License applies to most of the Free Software
Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to
using it.  (Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by
the GNU Library General Public License instead.)  You can apply it to
your programs, too.

   When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not
price.  Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it
if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in
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   To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid
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These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you
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   For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
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   We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software,
and (2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy,
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   Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain
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   Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software
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   The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and
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    TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION
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                                NO WARRANTY
 12. BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO
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                      END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
=============================================

If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it
free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these
terms.

   To do so, attach the following notices to the program.  It is safest
to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively
convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least
the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

     ONE LINE TO GIVE THE PROGRAM'S NAME AND AN IDEA OF WHAT IT DOES.
     Copyright (C) 19YY  NAME OF AUTHOR

     This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
     modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
     as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
     of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

     This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
     but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
     MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
     GNU General Public License for more details.

     You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
     with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc.,
     59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

   Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper
mail.

   If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like
this when it starts in an interactive mode:

     Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19YY NAME OF AUTHOR
     Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details
     type `show w'.  This is free software, and you are welcome
     to redistribute it under certain conditions; type `show c'
     for details.

   The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the
appropriate parts of the General Public License.  Of course, the
commands you use may be called something other than `show w' and `show
c'; they could even be mouse-clicks or menu items--whatever suits your
program.

   You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or
your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program,
if necessary.  Here is a sample; alter the names:

     Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright
     interest in the program `Gnomovision'
     (which makes passes at compilers) written
     by James Hacker.

     SIGNATURE OF TY COON, 1 April 1989
     Ty Coon, President of Vice

   This General Public License does not permit incorporating your
program into proprietary programs.  If your program is a subroutine
library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary
applications with the library.  If this is what you want to do, use the
GNU Library General Public License instead of this License.

File: pinentry.info,  Node: Option Index,  Next: Index,  Prev: Copying,  Up: Top

Option Index
************

[index]
* Menu:

* d:                                     Using pinentry.       (line 20)
* debug:                                 Using pinentry.       (line 20)
* display:                               Using pinentry.       (line 46)
* e:                                     Using pinentry.       (line 26)
* enhanced:                              Using pinentry.       (line 26)
* g:                                     Using pinentry.       (line 31)
* help:                                  Using pinentry.       (line 15)
* lc-ctype:                              Using pinentry.       (line 46)
* lc-messa:                              Using pinentry.       (line 46)
* no-global-grab:                        Using pinentry.       (line 31)
* parent-wid:                            Using pinentry.       (line 38)
* ttyname:                               Using pinentry.       (line 46)
* ttytype:                               Using pinentry.       (line 46)
* version:                               Using pinentry.       (line 12)

File: pinentry.info,  Node: Index,  Prev: Option Index,  Up: Top

Index
*****

[index]
* Menu:

* GPL, GNU General Public License:       Copying.               (line 6)
* introduction:                          Top.                   (line 6)



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