07 March 2007

Blank incoming encrypted messages with Enigmail/Seamonkey

Enigmail was almost unusable on my laptop until today (Enigmail 0.94, Seamonkey 1.0.5 and 1.1.0). Set-up went fine: it was easy to install and import my keys, and adding my email accounts went as planned. I was able to send encrypted and signed messages with either secret key (I have two). Annoyingly, one of my secret keys—the “work” key—behaved oddly in Enigmail. I could decrypt messages at the command line with GnuPG, but any encrypted message that I tried to read in Seamonkey appeared completely blank. If I downloaded the message without Seamonkey and decrypted with the command line, the message appeared. Even stranger, Enigmail handled my other secret key without difficulty. After upgrading to Seamonkey 1.1.1, Enigmail (0.94) is, finally, working. I have found no information about this problem anywhere else. My ancient laptop proudly runs Slackware 11.0, a custom kernel, and Xfce. ---UPDATE 11 March 2007--- Well, I had it working. Now, though, the GnuPG-Seamonkey interface seems broken. I can see the encrypted messages in their encrypted form (better than before), but I cannot decrypt them without saving the file separately. I surely brought this upon myself when I updated my Slackware patches. After much fiddling with dependencies, I have switched to Claws-mail (Sylpheed) with the GPG plug-ins. Claws-mail is fast, but the SpamAssassin plug-in seems to slow things down an awful lot. I am optimistic about Claws so far. A whiny note in closing: I irrationally find the Netscape-style buttons on Seamonkey repulsive. Opera is pretty, but does not seem to work as well, and is slow on my hobbling $100 laptop. Despite my kissing Seamonkey mail goodbye, it looks like the browser will stay.

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