Release Digest: GNU, December 24, 2003

GnuPG 1.2.4


We are pleased to announce the availability of a new stable
GnuPG release: Version 1.2.4

The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is GNU’s tool for secure
communication and data storage. It is a complete and free
replacement of PGP and can be used to encrypt data and to create
digital signatures. It includes an advanced key management facility
and is compliant with the proposed OpenPGP Internet standard as
described in RFC2440.

This is mainly a bug fix release; for details see the “What’s
New” section below.

Getting the Software

GnuPG 1.2.4 can be downloaded from one of the GnuPG mirror sites
or direct from ftp://ftp.gnupg.org/gcrypt . The
list of mirrors can be found at http://www.gnupg.org/mirrors.html
. Note, that GnuPG is not available at ftp.gnu.org/.

On the mirrors you should find the follwing files in the
gnupg directory:

gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2 (2321k)

GnuPG source compressed using BZIP2 and OpenPGP

gnupg-1.2.4.tar.gz (3370k)

GnuPG source compressed using GZIP and OpenPGP

gnupg-1.2.3-1.2.4.diff.gz (859k)

A patch file to upgrade a 1.2.3 GnuPG source. This file
is signed; you have to use GnuPG > 0.9.5 to verify the
signature. GnuPG has a feature to allow clear signed patch files
which can still be processed by the patch utility.

Select one of them. To shorten the download time, you probably
want to get the BZIP2 compressed file. Please try another mirror if
exceptional your mirror is not yet up to date.

In the binary directory, you should find these

gnupg-w32cli-1.2.4.zip (1405k)

GnuPG compiled for Microsoft Windows and OpenPGP
signature. Note that this is a command line version and comes
without a graphical installer tool. You have to use an UNZIP
utility to extract the files and install them manually. The
included file README.W32 has further instructions.=20

Checking the Integrity

In order to check that the version of GnuPG which you are going
to install is an original and unmodified one, you can do it in one
of the following ways:

  • If you already have a trusted version of GnuPG installed, you
    can simply check the supplied signature. For example to check the
    signature of the file gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2 you would use this

    gpg –verify gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2.sig

    This checks whether the signature file matches the source file.
    You should see a message indicating that the signature is good and
    made by that signing key. Make sure that you have the right key,
    either by checking the fingerprint of that key with other sources
    or by checking that the key has been signed by a trustworthy other
    key. Note, that you can retrieve the signing key using “finger wk
    ‘at’ g10code.com” or “dd9jn ‘at’ gnu.org” or using the keyservers.
    I just prolonged the expiration date; thus you need a fresh copy of
    that key RSN.

    Never use a GnuPG version you just downloaded to check the
    integrity of the source – use an existing GnuPG installation!

  • If you are not able to use an old version of GnuPG, you have to
    verify the MD5 checksum. Assuming you downloaded the file
    gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2, you would run the md5sum command like this:

    md5sum gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2

    and check that the output matches the first line from the
    following list:

    16d0b575812060328f8e677b7f0047cc gnupg-1.2.4.tar.bz2
    adfab529010ba55533c8e538c0b042a2 gnupg-1.2.4.tar.gz
    8186b9a52bd65e87ce65824cf62d3916 gnupg-1.2.3-1.2.4.diff.gz
    bb568fe26abbe045d91f95ae0324eab2 gnupg-w32cli-1.2.4.zip

Upgrade Information

If you are upgrading from a version prior to 1.0.7, you should
run the script tools/convert-from-106 once. Please note also that
due to a bug in versions prior to 1.0.6 it may not be possible to
downgrade to such versions unless you apply the patch http://www.gnupg.org/developer/gpg-woody-fix.txt

If you have any problems, please see the FAQ and the mailing
list archive at http://lists.gnupg.org. Please direct
questions to the gnupg-users@gnupg.org mailing

What’s New

Here is a list of major user visible changes since 1.2.2:

  • Added read-only support for BZIP2 compression. This should be
    considered experimental, and is only available if the libbzip2
    library <http://sources.redhat.com/bzip2/>
    is installed.
  • Added the ability to handle messages that can be decrypted with
    either a passphrase or a secret key.
  • Most support for Elgamal sign+encrypt keys has been removed.
    Old signatures may still be verified, and existing encrypted
    messages may still be decrypted, but no new signatures may be
    issued by, and no new messages will be encrypted to, these keys.
    Elgamal sign+encrypt keys are not part of the web of trust. The
    only new message that can be generated by an Elgamal sign+encrypt
    key is a key revocation. Note that in a future version of GnuPG
    (currently planned for 1.4), all support for Elgamal sign+encrypt
    keys will be removed, so take this opportunity to revoke old keys
  • A Russian translation is included again as well as a new
    Bela-Russian translation.


GnuPG comes with support for 27 languages:

American English Indonesian (id)
Bela-Russian (be) Italian (it)
Catalan (ca) Japanese (ja)
Czech (cs) Polish (pl)[*]
Danish (da)[*] Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR)[*]
Dutch (nl)[*] Portuguese (pt)[*]
Esperanto (eo)[*] Romanian (ro)
Estonian (et) Russian (ru)
Finnish (fi)[*] Slovak (sk)
French (fr) Spanish (es)
Galician (gl) Swedish (sv)[*]
German (de) Traditional Chinese (zh_TW)[*]
Greek (el) Turkish (tr)
Hungarian (hu)  

Languages marked with [*] were not updated for this release and
you may notice untranslated messages. Many thanks to the
translators for their ongoing support of GnuPG.

Future Directions

GnuPG 1.2.x is the current stable branch and won’t undergo any
serious changes. We will just fix bugs and add compatibility fixes
as required.

GnuPG 1.3.x is the version were we do most new stuff and it will
lead to the next stable version 1.4 not too far away.

GnuPG 1.9.x is brand new and flagged as experimental. This
version merged the code from the Aegypten project and thus it
includes the gpg-agent, a smartcard daemon and gpg’s S/MIME cousin
gpgsm. The design is different to the previous versions and we
won’t support any ancient systems – thus POSIX compatibility will
be an absolute requirement for supported platforms. 1.9 is based on
the current 1.3 code and has been released to have software ready
to play with the forthcoming OpenPGP smartcard.

The OpenPGP smartcard is a specification of an ISO 7816 based
application to generate or import keys into a smartcard and provide
all functionality to use this card with OpenPGP. The specification
features 3 1024 bit RSA keys (signing, decryption and
authentication) as well as utility data objects to make integration
easy. GnuPG 1.3.x supports this card; see http://g10code.com/p-card.html

Please consider to buy maintenance points to help with the
development; see http://g10code.com/products.html#maintpoints.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year,

The GnuPG team (David, Stefan, Timo and Werner)

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