Building the GPGTools Mail Bundle

 

The usual dance. You upgrade an OS X release and your Mail.app plugins get disabled. As they are working with unpublished APIs this isn’t in the least bit surprising. Apple really should get their act together and make Mail.app easily extensible – if they can’t include PGP support by default, at least make it easy for the good people that do. Changing the API between beta and GA is a dick move.

If you followed the link above you’ll know that the GPGTools mail bundle is moving to a paid model. That seems like a sensible decision to me. When they get that system setup i’ll pay. In the meantime i wanted to see how easy it was to build from the source. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t get you a working mail bundle.

IMPORTANT: the below won’t give you working GPGMail in Mail.app!! It just shows you how to build and install the currently broken version.

That said, if you’re interested here are the steps:

  • install XCode
  • clone the git project, In a terminal:
$ mkdir src ; cd src
$ git clone https://github.com/GPGTools/GPGMail.git
$ git checkout yosemite
$ cd GPGMail
$ make
  • the above will build everything but fail to create the actually bundles due to an issue with signing. To fix that open the Xcode project:
$ open ./GPGMail.xcodeproj
  • in ‘Navigate’ menu, select ‘Reveal in Project Navigator’. Open the GPGMail project in the left most pane, and select the ‘GPGMail_Updater.xcodeproj’ target. In the centre pane, in the ‘Identity’ section, change the ‘Signing’ to ‘None’. The project seems to auto-save on close… no idea, i’m not an Xcode user.
  • Now go back to the terminal and reexecute the ‘make’ command.
  • To manually install the bundle, close Mail.app, and copy execute the following:
$ cp -r ./build/Release/GPGMail.mailbundle ~/Library/Mail/Bundles/

And restart Mail.app. It should tell you that the bundle is incompatible and is being disabled. This is the part that the GPGTools developers are working on fixing.

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2 thoughts on “Building the GPGTools Mail Bundle

  1. Well, that is one thing I haven’t even tried yet, because I don’t really use mail.app anyway. But I need to check that the general PGP tools actually work.

    Moving it to a payed model. Oh my. Will shy away even more people of using secure email.

    • GPG Mail certainly doesn’t work, but you can use the GPG Services to manually decrypt / encrypt text to mail. Not ideal by any means!

      Yup, that was exactly my reaction – it’s hard to see how this will help adoption. On the other hand, your Austrian brothers need to eat, so if donations were doing it for them… so be it.

      And, lets be honest, unless mail encryption is built into the mail clients, and the big providers step up to help with key management, this just isn’t going to happen! Until we get to the point that you have to go out of your way to send an unencrypted mail it is going to be the default behaviour.

Wise words...

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