Resolving Timeouts when generating entropy when generating a new GPG key

Following my setup on my new work laptop, I was setting up a new GPG key when I encountered the following error when generating it (linebreak added for readability):

We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It is a good idea to perform
some other action (type on the keyboard, move the mouse, utilize the
disks) during the prime generation; this gives the random number
generator a better chance to gain enough entropy.

gpg: agent_genkey failed: Timeout
Key generation failed: Timeout

Searching around for causes, I stumbled upon a few threads - displaying different error messages - but noting that it may be that gpg-agent doesn't have a pinentry program that can be used.

I had no GPG agent configuration in $HOME/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf, so it must've been using the defaults, and so I specified the following configuration:

pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry-qt

At this point, I then received a pop-up to provide the passphrase for the key.

What was interesting was that this was presented as a timeout, whereas I'd have expected a different error (such as No pinentry as I'd seen in some posts).

Written by Jamie Tanna's profile image Jamie Tanna on , and last updated on .

Content for this article is shared under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International, and code is shared under the Apache License 2.0.

#blogumentation #gpg.

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