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OpenPGP.rb: OpenPGP for Ruby

This is a pure-Ruby implementation of the OpenPGP Message Format (RFC 4880).

About OpenPGP

OpenPGP is the most widely-used e-mail encryption standard in the world. It is defined by the OpenPGP Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Proposed Standard RFC 4880. The OpenPGP standard was originally derived from PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), first created by Phil Zimmermann in 1991.


  • Encodes and decodes ASCII-armored OpenPGP messages.
  • Parses OpenPGP messages into their constituent packets.
    • Supports both old-format (PGP 2.6.x) and new-format (RFC 4880) packets.
  • Includes a GnuPG wrapper for features that are not natively supported.


require 'rubygems'
require 'openpgp'

Decoding an ASCII-armored message

require 'open-uri'
text = open('').read

msg = OpenPGP::Message.parse(OpenPGP.dearmor(text))

Generating a new keypair

gpg = => '~/.gnupg')
key_id = gpg.gen_key({
  :key_type      => 'DSA',
  :key_length    => 1024,
  :subkey_type   => 'ELG-E',
  :subkey_length => 1024,
  :name          => 'J. Random Hacker',
  :comment       => nil,
  :email         => '[email protected]',
  :passphrase    => 'secret passphrase',



  • Ruby (>= 1.8.7) or (>= 1.8.1 with [Backports][])
  • Open4 (>= 1.0.1)


The recommended installation method is via RubyGems. To install the latest official release of OpenPGP.rb, do:

% [sudo] gem install openpgp             # Ruby 1.8.7+ or 1.9.x
% [sudo] gem install backports openpgp   # Ruby 1.8.1+


To get a local working copy of the development repository, do:

% git clone git://

Alternatively, you can download the latest development version as a tarball as follows:

% wget





  • Do your best to adhere to the existing coding conventions and idioms.
  • Don't use hard tabs, and don't leave trailing whitespace on any line.
  • Do document every method you add using YARD annotations. Read the tutorial or just look at the existing code for examples.
  • Don't touch the .gemspec or VERSION files. If you need to change them, do so on your private branch only.
  • Do feel free to add yourself to the CONTRIBUTORS file and the corresponding list in the the README. Alphabetical order applies.
  • Don't touch the AUTHORS file. If your contributions are significant enough, be assured we will eventually add you in there.
  • Do note that in order for us to merge any non-trivial changes (as a rule of thumb, additions larger than about 15 lines of code), we need an explicit public domain dedication on record from you.


OpenPGP.rb is free and unencumbered public domain software. For more information, see or the accompanying UNLICENSE file.

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