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.

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I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.