Im decrypting a file sent by a client using gpg. The file is Obviusly encrypted, and theoretically, using my public key.

I have installed both his public key and my private key.

So, im running:

/usr/local/bin/gpg --output a.log  --decrypt --passphrase=mypassphrase --batch /usr/local/log/Banesco11052015.TXT.pgp

gpg: encrypted with 2048-bit RSA key, ID B61CC86B, created 2014-11-06 "Company SRL " gpg: WARNING: message was not integrity protected

But a.log is empty.

I also tried as well:

echo mypassphrase | gpg  --output a.log --passphrase-fd 0 /usr/local/log/Banesco11052015.TXT.pgp

The encrypted file has content, but is it possible though it has encrypted content, the file is actually empty on decryption?

Am I running the decrypt command wrongly? Maybe there is a problem with my keys?

Thanks in advance!


  • What is the exit status of the gpg command? (Put echo $? >&2 after the /usr/local/bin/gpg … line to display it.) May 18, 2015 at 21:14
  • Does not like that: /usr/local/bin/gpg echo $? >&2 --output a.log --decrypt --passphrase=mypassphrase --batch /usr/local/log/Banesco11052015.TXT.pgp usage: gpg [options] [filename]
    – Emiliano
    May 19, 2015 at 12:32
  • 1
    Not on the line with the gpg command. On the next line. May 19, 2015 at 12:44
  • Oh, hehe... Its "0".
    – Emiliano
    May 19, 2015 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


Effectively, as @PSkocik, the file was empty.

Apparently, those 900 bytes on it were header information regarding the encryption.

Thank you all!


gpg seems to depend on a particular argument ordering (unfortunately not all command-line utilities allow as unrestricted argument ordering as possible) .

It should work if you follow the pattern from the man page:

gpg [--homedir dir] [--options file] [options] command [args]

In your case:

/usr/local/bin/gpg --output a.log --passphrase=mypassphrase  --decrypt  /usr/local/log/Banesco11052015.TXT.pgp

I would start with the simplest

gpg --decrypt /usr/local/log/Banesco11052015.TXT.pgp

and, if it works, add --passphrase and --output later:

  • I tried that: It makes me input the passphrase, and then nothing happens after "gpg: WARNING: message was not integrity protected" just like the other one. It should print the decrypted text, right? Then, same issue here
    – Emiliano
    May 19, 2015 at 12:10
  • If it the command returns zero (=ran sucessfully), the message was simply empty.
    – PSkocik
    May 19, 2015 at 12:46
  • Apparently it did run succesfully. But the encrypted file has some bytes on it! About 844 bytes. Is it possible that its size is 844 bytes but decrypted, its zero?
    – Emiliano
    May 19, 2015 at 12:56
  • Yes, it is possible.
    – PSkocik
    May 19, 2015 at 12:59

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