Using GPG in Gmail on a Mac

I used to use the FireGPG extension to encrypt and decrypt text in a browser – including wikis, for example, where sensitive client information could be stored. It’s been a while since I had that need, but recently I wanted to send a GPG-encrypted message to a coworker, and FireGPG has been discontinued for years. I also use a Mac now, and Chrome is my primary browser.

What to do? I looked around at a few Chrome extensions, but didn’t really like them.

Then someone kindly pointed out on Twitter that the GPG suite from adds “services” to the right-click menu on a Mac, which enable all sorts of GPG actions on selected text, files, and so on. I had an earlier version of the GPG suite installed, so I upgraded it. (I got an error message about the pin entry application, so I uninstalled and reinstalled, which fixed it.)

Et voila. Here I’m composing a message: compose

Then I encrypt it: encrypt

Here’s the result: encrypted

And here I’ve decrypted it on the receiving end: decrypted

It’s not quite as seamless as a plugin would make it, but for occasional use it’s more than acceptable.

About The Author

Baron is the founder and CEO of VividCortex. He is the author of High Performance MySQL and many open-source tools for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. Baron contributes to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB.