Example :

bash$ gpg --batch --edit-key alice quit >/dev/null 2>&1
Secret key is available.

pub  2048R/9F07612A  created: 2017-06-20  expires: never       usage: SCEA
                     trust: ultimate      validity: ultimate
sub  2048R/23B3A24B  created: 2017-06-20  expires: never       usage: SEA 
[ultimate] (1). alice (alice's key) <alice@foo.bar>

I know that using --batch will do the job.

But my question is more "how does GnuPG achieves this 'output anyway' feature"?

  • FYI - Redirect as expected under OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) and NetBSD 7.0.2. – Deathgrip Jun 20 '17 at 22:50

Probably by writing to /dev/tty or equivalent, that's what ssh does.

$ hi() { echo hello > /dev/tty; }
$ hi &>/dev/null 

On Linux, at least, opening /dev/tty opens the controlling terminal of the process.

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