- CRL and OCSP daemon
Since version 2.1 of GnuPG, dirmngr
takes care of accessing the OpenPGP
keyservers. As with previous versions it is also used as a server for managing
and downloading certificate revocation lists (CRLs) for X.509 certificates,
downloading X.509 certificates, and providing access to OCSP providers.
Dirmngr is invoked internally by gpg
, or via the
Commands are not distinguished from options except for the fact that only one
command is allowed.
- Print the program version and licensing information. Note
that you cannot abbreviate this command.
- --help, -h
- Print a usage message summarizing the most useful
command-line options. Note that you cannot abbreviate this command.
- Print a list of all available options and commands. Note
that you cannot abbreviate this command.
- Run in server mode and wait for commands on the
stdin. The default mode is to create a socket and listen for
commands there. This is only used for testing.
- Run in background daemon mode and listen for commands on a
socket. This is the way dirmngr is started on demand by the other
GnuPG components. To force starting dirmngr it is in general best
to use gpgconf --launch dirmngr.
- Run in the foreground, sending logs to stderr, and
listening on file descriptor 3, which must already be bound to a listening
socket. This is useful when running under systemd or other similar process
supervision schemes. This option is not supported on Windows.
- List the contents of the CRL cache on stdout. This
is probably only useful for debugging purposes.
- --load-crl file
- This command requires a filename as additional argument,
and it will make Dirmngr try to import the CRL in file into it's
cache. Note, that this is only possible if Dirmngr is able to retrieve the
CA's certificate directly by its own means. In general it is better to use
gpgsm's --call-dirmngr loadcrl filename command so that
gpgsm can help dirmngr.
- --fetch-crl url
- This command requires an URL as additional argument, and it
will make dirmngr try to retrieve and import the CRL from that url
into it's cache. This is mainly useful for debugging purposes. The
dirmngr-client provides the same feature for a running dirmngr.
- This commands shuts down an running instance of Dirmngr.
This command has currently no effect.
- This command removes all CRLs from Dirmngr's cache. Client
requests will thus trigger reading of fresh CRLs.
Note that all long options with the exception of --options
may also be given in the configuration file after stripping
off the two leading dashes.
- --options file
- Reads configuration from file instead of from the
default per-user configuration file. The default configuration file is
named ‘ dirmngr.conf’ and expected in the home
- --homedir dir
- Set the name of the home directory to dir. This
option is only effective when used on the command line. The default is the
directory named ‘ .gnupg’ directly below the home
directory of the user unless the environment variable GNUPGHOME has
been set in which case its value will be used. Many kinds of data are
stored within this directory.
- Outputs additional information while running. You can
increase the verbosity by giving several verbose commands to
dirmngr, such as -vv.
- --log-file file
- Append all logging output to file. This is very
helpful in seeing what the agent actually does. Use ‘
socket://’ to log to socket.
- --debug-level level
- Select the debug level for investigating problems.
level may be a numeric value or by a keyword:
- No debugging at all. A value of less than 1 may be used
instead of the keyword.
- Some basic debug messages. A value between 1 and 2 may be
used instead of the keyword.
- More verbose debug messages. A value between 3 and 5 may be
used instead of the keyword.
- Even more detailed messages. A value between 6 and 8 may be
used instead of the keyword.
- All of the debug messages you can get. A value greater than
8 may be used instead of the keyword. The creation of hash tracing files
is only enabled if the keyword is used.
How these messages are mapped to the actual debugging flags is not specified and
may change with newer releases of this program. They are however carefully
selected to best aid in debugging.
- --debug flags
- Set debugging flags. This option is only useful for
debugging and its behavior may change with a new release. All flags are
or-ed and may be given in C syntax (e.g. 0x0042) or as a comma separated
list of flag names. To get a list of all supported flags the single word
"help" can be used.
- Same as --debug=0xffffffff
- --gnutls-debug level
- Enable debugging of GNUTLS at level.
- --debug-wait n
- When running in server mode, wait n seconds before
entering the actual processing loop and print the pid. This gives time to
attach a debugger.
- On some platforms dirmngr is able to detect the
removal of its socket file and shutdown itself. This option disable this
self-test for debugging purposes.
- --sh -c --csh Format the info output
in daemon mode for use with the standard Bourne shell respective the
C-shell. The default is to guess it based on the environment variable
SHELL which is in almost all cases sufficient.
- Enabling this option forces loading of expired CRLs; this
is only useful for debugging.
- --no-use-tor The option --use-tor switches
Dirmngr and thus GnuPG into ``Tor mode'' to route all network access via
Tor (an anonymity network). Certain other features are disabled in this
mode. The effect of --use-tor cannot be overridden by any other
command or even be reloading gpg-agent. The use of --no-use-tor
disables the use of Tor. The default is to use Tor if it is available on
startup or after reloading dirmngr.
- This option forces the use of the system's standard DNS
resolver code. This is mainly used for debugging. Note that on Windows a
standard resolver is not used and all DNS access will return the error
``Not Implemented'' if this function is used.
- When possible use a recursive resolver instead of a stub
- --resolver-timeout n
- Set the timeout for the DNS resolver to N seconds. The
default are 30 seconds.
- --connect-timeout n
- --connect-quick-timeout n
- Set the timeout for HTTP and generic TCP connection
attempts to N seconds. The value set with the quick variant is used when
the --quick option has been given to certain Assuan commands. The quick
value is capped at the value of the regular connect timeout. The default
values are 15 and 2 seconds. Note that the timeout values are for each
connection attempt; the connection code will attempt to connect all
addresses listed for a server.
- Allow Dirmngr to connect to
https://versions.gnupg.org to get the list of current software
versions. On debian-packaged versions, this option does nothing since
software updates should be handled by the distribution. See the option
--query-swdb of the command gpgconf for more details. Note,
that regardless of this option a version check can always be triggered
using this command:
gpg-connect-agent --dirmngr 'loadswdb --force' /bye
- --keyserver name
- Use name as your keyserver. This is the server that
gpg communicates with to receive keys, send keys, and search for
keys. The format of the name is a URI:
`scheme:[//]keyservername[:port]' The scheme is the type of keyserver:
"hkp" for the HTTP (or compatible) keyservers, "ldap"
for the LDAP keyservers, or "mailto" for the Graff email
keyserver. Note that your particular installation of GnuPG may have other
keyserver types available as well. Keyserver schemes are case-insensitive.
After the keyserver name, optional keyserver configuration options may be
provided. These are the same as the --keyserver-options of
gpg, but apply only to this particular keyserver.
Most keyservers synchronize with each other, so there is generally no need
to send keys to more than one server. The keyserver
hkp://keys.gnupg.net uses round robin DNS to give a different
keyserver each time you use it.
If exactly two keyservers are configured and only one is a Tor hidden
service (.onion), Dirmngr selects the keyserver to use depending on
whether Tor is locally running or not. The check for a running Tor is done
for each new connection.
If no keyserver is explicitly configured, dirmngr will use the built-in
default of hkps://hkps.pool.sks-keyservers.net.
- --nameserver ipaddr
- In ``Tor mode'' Dirmngr uses a public resolver via Tor to
resolve DNS names. If the default public resolver, which is
188.8.131.52, shall not be used a different one can be given using this
option. Note that a numerical IP address must be given (IPv6 or IPv4) and
that no error checking is done for ipaddr.
- Disable the use of all IPv4 or IPv6 addresses.
- Entirely disables the use of LDAP.
- Entirely disables the use of HTTP.
- When looking for the location of a CRL, the to be tested
certificate usually contains so called CRL Distribution Point (DP) entries
which are URLs describing the way to access the CRL. The first found DP
entry is used. With this option all entries using the HTTP scheme are
ignored when looking for a suitable DP.
- This is similar to --ignore-http-dp but ignores
entries using the LDAP scheme. Both options may be combined resulting in
ignoring DPs entirely.
- Ignore all OCSP URLs contained in the certificate. The
effect is to force the use of the default responder.
- If the environment variable
‘http_proxy’ has been set, use its value to access
- --http-proxy host[:port]
- Use host and port to access HTTP servers. The
use of this option overrides the environment variable ‘
http_proxy’ regardless whether --honor-http-proxy has
- --ldap-proxy host[:port]
- Use host and port to connect to LDAP servers.
If port is omitted, port 389 (standard LDAP port) is used. This
overrides any specified host and port part in a LDAP URL and will also be
used if host and port have been omitted from the URL.
- Never use anything else but the LDAP "proxy" as
configured with --ldap-proxy. Usually dirmngr tries to use
other configured LDAP server if the connection using the "proxy"
- --ldapserverlist-file file
- Read the list of LDAP servers to consult for CRLs and
certificates from file instead of the default per-user ldap server list
file. The default value for file is
This server list file contains one LDAP server per line in the format
Lines starting with a '#' are comments.
Note that as usual all strings entered are expected to be UTF-8 encoded.
Obviously this will lead to problems if the password has originally been
encoded as Latin-1. There is no other solution here than to put such a
password in the binary encoding into the file (i.e. non-ascii characters
won't show up readable). ([The gpgconf tool might be helpful for
frontends as it enables editing this configuration file using
- --ldaptimeout secs
- Specify the number of seconds to wait for an LDAP query
before timing out. The default is currently 100 seconds. 0 will never
- This option makes dirmngr add any servers it discovers when
validating certificates against CRLs to the internal list of servers to
consult for certificates and CRLs.
This option is useful when trying to validate a certificate that has a CRL
distribution point that points to a server that is not already listed in
the ldapserverlist. Dirmngr will always go to this server and try to
download the CRL, but chances are high that the certificate used to sign
the CRL is located on the same server. So if dirmngr doesn't add that new
server to list, it will often not be able to verify the signature of the
CRL unless the --add-servers option is used.
Note: The current version of dirmngr has this option disabled by default.
- This option enables OCSP support if requested by the
OCSP requests are rejected by default because they may violate the privacy
of the user; for example it is possible to track the time when a user is
reading a mail.
- --ocsp-responder url
- Use url as the default OCSP Responder if the
certificate does not contain information about an assigned responder.
Note, that --ocsp-signer must also be set to a valid certificate.
- --ocsp-signer fpr|file
- Use the certificate with the fingerprint fpr to
check the responses of the default OCSP Responder. Alternatively a
filename can be given in which case the response is expected to be signed
by one of the certificates described in that file. Any argument which
contains a slash, dot or tilde is considered a filename. Usual filename
expansion takes place: A tilde at the start followed by a slash is
replaced by the content of ‘ HOME’, no slash at start
describes a relative filename which will be searched at the home
directory. To make sure that the file is searched in the home
directory, either prepend the name with "./" or use a name which
contains a dot.
If a response has been signed by a certificate described by these
fingerprints no further check upon the validity of this certificate is
The format of the FILE is a list of SHA-1 fingerprint, one per line
with optional colons between the bytes. Empty lines and lines prefix with
a hash mark are ignored.
- --ocsp-max-clock-skew n
- The number of seconds a skew between the OCSP responder and
them local clock is accepted. Default is 600 (10 minutes).
- --ocsp-max-period n
- Seconds a response is at maximum considered valid after the
time given in the thisUpdate field. Default is 7776000 (90 days).
- --ocsp-current-period n
- The number of seconds an OCSP response is considered valid
after the time given in the NEXT_UPDATE datum. Default is 10800 (3 hours).
- --max-replies n
- Do not return more that n items in one query. The
default is 10.
- --ignore-cert-extension oid
- Add oid to the list of ignored certificate
extensions. The oid is expected to be in dotted decimal form, like
184.108.40.206. This option may be used more than once. Critical flagged
certificate extensions matching one of the OIDs in the list are treated as
if they are actually handled and thus the certificate won't be rejected
due to an unknown critical extension. Use this option with care because
extensions are usually flagged as critical for a reason.
- --hkp-cacert file
- Use the root certificates in file for verification
of the TLS certificates used with hkps (keyserver access over TLS).
If the file is in PEM format a suffix of .pem is expected for
file. This option may be given multiple times to add more root
certificates. Tilde expansion is supported.
If no hkp-cacert directive is present, dirmngr will make a reasonable
choice: if the keyserver in question is the special pool
hkps.pool.sks-keyservers.net, it will use the bundled root
certificate for that pool. Otherwise, it will use the system CAs.
Here is an example on how to show dirmngr's internal table of OpenPGP keyserver
addresses. The output is intended for debugging purposes and not part of a
gpg-connect-agent --dirmngr 'keyserver --hosttable' /bye
To inhibit the use of a particular host you have noticed in one of the keyserver
pools, you may use
gpg-connect-agent --dirmngr 'keyserver --dead pgpkeys.bnd.de' /bye
The description of the keyserver
command can be printed using
gpg-connect-agent --dirmngr 'help keyserver' /bye
Dirmngr makes use of several directories when running in daemon mode: There are
a few configuration files whih control the operation of dirmngr. By default
they may all be found in the current home directory (see: [option --homedir]).
- This is the standard configuration file read by
dirmngr on startup. It may contain any valid long option; the
leading two dashes may not be entered and the option may not be
abbreviated. This file is also read after a SIGHUP however not all
options will actually have an effect. This default name may be changed on
the command line (see: [option --options]). You should backup this file.
- This directory should be filled with certificates of Root
CAs you are trusting in checking the CRLs and signing OCSP Responses.
Usually these are the same certificates you use with the applications making
use of dirmngr. It is expected that each of these certificate files
contain exactly one DER encoded certificate in a file with the suffix
‘ .crt’ or ‘.der’.
dirmngr reads those certificates on startup and when given a
SIGHUP. Certificates which are not readable or do not make up a proper
X.509 certificate are ignored; see the log file for details.
Applications using dirmngr (e.g. gpgsm) can request these certificates to
complete a trust chain in the same way as with the extra-certs directory
Note that for OCSP responses the certificate specified using the option
--ocsp-signer is always considered valid to sign OCSP requests.
- This directory may contain extra certificates which are
preloaded into the internal cache on startup. Applications using dirmngr
(e.g. gpgsm) can request cached certificates to complete a trust chain.
This is convenient in cases you have a couple intermediate CA certificates
or certificates usually used to sign OCSP responses. These certificates
are first tried before going out to the net to look for them. These
certificates must also be DER encoded and suffixed with ‘
.crt’ or ‘ .der’.
- This directory is used to store cached CRLs. The
‘crls.d’ part will be created by dirmngr if it does
not exists but you need to make sure that the upper directory exists.
A running dirmngr
may be controlled by signals, i.e. using the
command to send a signal to the process.
Here is a list of supported signals:
- This signal flushes all internally cached CRLs as well as
any cached certificates. Then the certificate cache is reinitialized as on
startup. Options are re-read from the configuration file. Instead of
sending this signal it is better to use
- Shuts down the process but waits until all current requests
are fulfilled. If the process has received 3 of these signals and requests
are still pending, a shutdown is forced. You may also use
instead of this signal
- Shuts down the process immediately.
- This prints some caching statistics to the log file.
The full documentation for this tool is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If GnuPG
and the info program are properly installed at your site, the command
should give you access to the complete manual including a menu structure and an