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gpg -ca passwords.txt create encrypted ASCII file passwords.txt.asc. Emacs open the file as a normal text file:

Version: GnuPG v2.0.19 (GNU/Linux)


How do I make Emacs auto-decrypt and encrypt the file when I open and save it?

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3 Answers 3

Everything should work fine with the default configuration, but you can check your configuration.

First, you need to be sure that EasyPG Assistant is installed.

M-xlocate-libraryRETepaRET should return something like:

Library is file /usr/local/share/emacs/24.2.50/lisp/epa.elc

If not, then you've to install it. (or upgrade to Emacs23 or Emacs24)

  1. http://emacswiki.org/emacs/EasyPG
  2. http://epg.sourceforge.jp/

Then, check the value of the variable auto-mode-alist with C-hvauto-mode-alistRET and search for epa.

If you cannot find it, add this snippet to your .emacs.

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.gpg\\(~\\|\\.~[0-9]+~\\)?\\'" nil epa-file))
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I think you mistook my question. I have all the epa stuff ready and can open binary *.gpg file without a problem. I am asking about opening and saving *.asc file. –  RNA Nov 11 '12 at 15:38
Not sure if this is magic or not, but if I open a file named foo.org.gpg, I get prompted for the password and then the file is opened in Org mode. This is exactly what I wanted! Thanks! –  Tim Stewart Mar 31 '14 at 18:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I did following to let Emacs open .asc files in the same way of .gpg files

(require 'epa-file)
(setq epa-file-name-regexp "\\.\\(gpg\\|asc\\)$")
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Daimrod's answer (currently top ranked) doesn't work for me, because EasyPG (epa) isn't an auto-mode, so modifying auto-mode-alist is wrong, at least as of emacs 24.3.1.

Instead, you have to modify the epa-file-name-regexp value to add a pattern to match *.asc files.

(setq epa-file-name-regexp "\\.gpg\\(~\\|\\.~[0-9]+~\\)?\\'\\|\\.asc")

Personally I think all the extra syntax required to match emacs backup files is both unnecessary for almost all purposes as well as unconducive to easy understanding and maintenance, so I left that out of the ".asc" pattern. Add it if you prefer it verbatim as it appears after the ".gpg" pattern.

Note if you do this after emacs has started up and enabled epa, you have to run the epa-file-name-regexp-update function to pick up a changed value. That's unnecessary if you add this code to your .emacs startup file (nor do you need to explicitly enable epa).

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