Project Ägypten2: Improving Free Software Sphinx-Clients

Ägypten2 is a successor project of Ägypten1, but with its own technical aims, primarily addressing a better GUI and some more functionality such as OCSP. The Ägypten2 project has the same structural and organisational frame as Ägypten1, started December 1st 2003 and finished in November 2004.

Please read the Ägypten1 Web-Pages to learn about the project that initially estabslished the Sphinx (S/MIME) awareness of the MUAs KMail and Mutt.


The rough list of aims and their status (as of 13-January-2005) of the Ägypten2 project are:

  • Certificate Manager/Dirmngr

    • GUI for PSE management (done)
    • GUI for importating centrally created keys (done)
    • Manual installation of CRLs (done)
    • Check validity of all certifiactes (done)
    • Visual distinction of certificate validity and usage (done)
    • OCSP support (done)
    • serial signatures based on the MIME structures (done)
    • GUI for configuring LDAP servers (done)
  • KMail

    • Better support for handling keys with different key usages (done)
    • GUI for specifying set and sequence of DN elements to show in KMail (done)
    • Detection of encrypted messages even if not correctly suffixed ".p7m" (done)
    • Consistent and correct handling of drafts (done)
  • Support of DINSIG Smartcards (DIN V66291-1:2000-04) (done)

  • Extend Mutt to support S/MIME based on Ägypten crypto-backend (done)

  • Interoperability with other Sphinx-Applications (established)

  • KDE GUI for watching GnuPG log (done)

  • Complete German translation (almost done)

  • Merge Ägypten developments into main development branches, especially the KDE parts (done)

  • Incorporate full functionality into Debian (in progress, only GpgSM missing)

  • Finish work in summer 2004 (well November was not too bad, considering that the official Sphinx Interoperability Test performed by Atos Origin took place in the last week of October).

Module Overview


Figure 1: [module diagram]


Basically Ägypten2 is ready for use. The technology passed interoperability tests with a number of leading other Sphinx products (in fact most of them being proprietary Outlook plugins). Of course, there could still be some remaining bugs.

If your are interested in the OpenPGP part, there is a HOWTO provided by Using OpenPGP and PGP/MIME with KMail >= 1.7 Most of the described stuff is also required for S/MIME.

Since the release of KDE 3.3 (and therewith KMail 1.7), all KDE elements of Ägypten2 are available with the standard KDE 3.3 (or newer) packages.

However, the various packages of Ägypten2 did not yet made it into the usual GNU/Linux distributions.

Please report us if you find a distibution where Ägypten2 (especially the S/MIME part) works on your distribution out of the box or at least most parts are available as packages.

Debian Sarge

Ägypten-2 funtionality is fully integrated in Debian 'Sarge' 3.1.

apt-get install gnupg libgpg-error0 libgcrypt11 libgpgme11
apt-get install dirmngr
apt-get install pinentry-curses pinentry-gtk pinentry-qt
apt-get install gnupg2

In case you want to compiler newer versions than the Sarge ones you might need some developer packages of which some are available as packages:

apt-get install libgpg-error-dev libgcrypt11-dev libassuan-dev libgpgme11-dev

KDE >= 3.3 is also available in Sarge:

apt-get install kmail kleopatra # the minimum you should install apt-get install kaddressbook # to use contact specific crypto preferences apt-get install kontact # to have various PIM components integrated



First make sure you installed

The full procedure is (you may apply short-cuts for some modules e.g. via tar-balls. Note also that after installing libraries you may have to issue ldconfig to have the newly installed libraries be found by subsequent configure routines. Note finally that you should read README.SVN if you find one):

  1. Build libassuan

    svn co svn:// libassuan
    cd libassuan
    ./configure --prefix=/some/where --enable-maintainer-mode
    make install

    Alternatively you may use the latest tarball from and do the usual ./configure && make install.

  2. Build libksba

    svn co svn:// libksba
    cd libksba
    ./configure --prefix=/some/where --enable-maintainer-mode
    make install

    Alternatively you may use the latest tarball from and do the usual ./configure && make install.

  3. Build GnuPG 1.9 (make sure you build with thread support, or else some operations may hang)

    svn co svn:// gnupg
    cd gnupg
    ./configure --prefix=/some/where --enable-maintainer-mode
    make install

    Alternatively you may use the latest tarball from (take the latest gnupg-1.9.x) and do the usual ./configure && make install.

  4. Build DirMngr

    svn co svn:// dirmngr
    cd dirmngr
    ./configure --prefix=/some/where --enable-maintainer-mode
    make install

    Alternatively you may use the latest tarball from and do the usual ./configure && make install.

  5. Build pinentry module

    svn co svn:// pinentry
    cd pinentry
    ./configure --prefix=/some/where --enable-maintainer-mode
    make install

    Alternatively you may use the latest tarball from and do the usual ./configure && make install.

Page last modified: $Date: 2006-08-01 15:45:27 $

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