dirmngr - CRL and OCSP daemon
dirmngr [options] command [args]
Dirmngr is a server for managing and downloading certificate revocation
lists (CRLs) for X.509 certificates and for downloading the
certificates themselves. Dirmngr also handles OCSP requests as an
alternative to CRLs. Dirmngr is either invoked internally by gpgsm
(from GnuPG 2) or when running as a system daemon through the dirmngr-
Commands are not distinguished from options execpt for the fact that
only one command is allowed.
Print the program version and licensing information. Note that
you can abbreviate this command.
Print a usage message summarizing the most useful command-line
options. Not that you can abbreviate this command.
Run in server mode and wait for commands on the stdin. The
default mode is to create a socket and listen for commands
Run in background daemon mode and listen for commands on a
socket. Note that this also changes the default home directory
and enables the internal certificate validation code.
List the contents of the CRL cache on stdout. This is probably
only useful for debugging purposes.
This command requires a filename as additional argument, and it
will make dirmngr try to import the CRL in file into it’s cache.
Note, that this is only possible if Dirmngr is able to retrieve
the CA’s certificate directly by its own means. In general it
is better to use gpgsm’s --call-dirmngr loadcrl filename command
so that gpgsm can help dirmngr.
This command requires an URL as additional argument, and it will
make dirmngr try to retrieve an import the CRL from that url
into it’s cache. This is mainly useful for debugging purposes.
This commands shuts down an running instance of Dirmngr. This
command has corrently no effect.
This command removes all CRLs from Dirmngr’s cache. Client
requests will thus trigger reading of fresh CRLs.
Reads configuration from file instead of from the default per-
user configuration file. The default configuration file is
named ‘gpgsm.conf’ and expected in the home directory.
Set the name of the home directory to dir. This option is only
effective when used on the command line. The default depends on
the running mode:
With --daemon given on the commandline
the directory named ‘/etc/dirmngr’ for configuration
files, ‘/var/lib/dirmngr/’ for extra data and
‘/var/cache/dirmngr’ for cached CRLs.
Without --daemon given on the commandline
the directory named ‘.gnupg’ directly below the home
directory of the user unless the environment variable
GNUPGHOME has been set in which case its value will be
used. All kind of data is stored below this directory.
Outputs additional information while running. You can increase
the verbosity by giving several verbose commands to dirmngr,
such as -vv.
Append all logging output to file. This is very helpful in
seeing what the agent actually does.
Select the debug level for investigating problems. level may be
none no debugging at all.
basic some basic debug messages
more verbose debug messages
expert even more detailed messages
guru all of the debug messages you can get
How these messages are mapped to the actual debugging flags is not
specified and may change with newer releases of this program. They are
however carefully selected to best aid in debugging.
This option is only useful for debugging and the behaviour may
change at any time without notice. FLAGS are bit encoded and
may be given in usual C-Syntax.
Same as --debug=0xffffffff
When running in server mode, wait n seconds before entering the
actual processing loop and print the pid. This gives time to
attach a debugger.
--csh Format the info output in daemon mode for use with the standard
Bourne shell respective the C-shell . The default ist to guess
it based on the environment variable SHELL which is in almost
all cases sufficient.
Enabling this option forces loading of expired CRLs; this is
only useful for debugging.
Entirely disables the use of LDAP.
Entirely disables the use of HTTP.
When looking for the location of a CRL, the to be tested
certificate usually contains so called CRL Distribution Point
(DP) entries which are URLs describing the way to access the
CRL. The first found DP entry is used. With this option all
entries using the HTTP scheme are ignored when looking for a
This is similar to --ignore-http-dp but ignores entries using
the LDAP scheme. Both options may be combined resulting in
ignoring DPs entirely.
Ignore all OCSP URLs contained in the certificate. The effect
is to force the use of the default responder.
If the environment variable ‘http_proxy’ has been set, use its
value to access HTTP servers.
Use host and port to access HTTP servers. The use of this
options overrides the environment variable ‘http_proxy’
regardless whether --honor-http-proxy has been set.
Use host and port to connect to LDAP servers. If port is
ommitted, port 389 (standard LDAP port) is used. This overrides
any specified host and port part in a LDAP URL and will also be
used if host and port have been ommitted from the URL.
Never use anything else but the LDAP "proxy" as configured with
--ldap-proxy. Usually dirmngr tries to use other configured
LDAP server if the connection using the "proxy" failed.
Read the list of LDAP servers to consult for CRLs and
certificates from file instead of the default per-user ldap
server list file. The default value for file is
‘dirmngr_ldapservers.conf’ or ‘ldapservers.conf’ when running in
This server list file contains one LDAP server per line in the
Lines starting with a ’#’ are comments.
Note that as usual all strings entered are expected to be UTF-8
encoded. Obviously this will lead to problems if the password
has orginally been encoded as Latin-1. There is no other
solution here than to put such a password in the binary encoding
into the file (i.e. non-ascii characters won’t show up
readable). ([The gpgconf tool might be helpful for frontends as
it allows to edit this configuration file using percent escaped
Specify the number of seconds to wait for an LDAP query before
timing out. The default is currently 100 seconds. 0 will never
This options makes dirmngr add any servers it discovers when
validating certificates against CRLs to the internal list of
servers to consult for certificates and CRLs.
This options is useful when trying to validate a certificate
that has a CRL distribution point that points to a server that
is not already listed in the ldapserverlist. Dirmngr will always
go to this server and try to download the CRL, but chances are
high that the certificate used to sign the CRL is located on the
same server. So if dirmngr doesn’t add that new server to list,
it will often not be able to verify the signature of the CRL
unless the --add-servers option is used.
Note: The current version of dirmngr has this option disabled by
This option enables OCSP support if requested by the client.
OCSP requests are rejected by default because they may violate
the privacy of the user; for example it is possible to track the
time when a user is reading a mail.
Use url as the default OCSP Responder if the certificate does
not contain information about an assigned responder. Note, that
--ocsp-signer must also be set to a valid certificate.
Use the certificate with the fingerprint fpr to check the
responses of the default OCSP Responder. Alternativly a
filename can be given in which case the respinse is expected to
be signed by one of the certificates described in that file.
Any argument which contains a slash, dot or tilde is considered
a filename. Usual filename expansion takes place: A tilde at
the start followed by a slash is replaced by the content of
‘HOME’, no slash at start describes a relative filename which
will be searched at the home directory. To make sure that the
file is searched in the home directory, either prepend the name
with "./" or use a name which contains a dot.
If a response has been signed by a certificate described by
these fingerprints no further check upon the validity of this
certificate is done.
The format of the FILE is a list of SHA-1 fingerprint, one per
line with optional colons between the bytes. Empty lines and
lines prefix with a hash mark are ignored.
The number of seconds a skew between the OCSP responder and them
local clock is accepted. Default is 600 (20 minutes).
Seconds a response is at maximum considered valid after the time
given in the thisUpdate field. Default is 7776000 (90 days).
The number of seconds an OCSP response is considered valid after
the time given in the NEXT_UPDATE datum. Default is 10800 (3
Do not return more that n items in one query. The default is
A running dirmngr may be controlled by signals, i.e. using the kill
command to send a signal to the process.
Here is a list of supported signals:
SIGHUP This signals flushes all internally cached CRLs as well as any
cached certificates. Then the certificate cache is
reinitialized as on startup. Options are re-read from the
Shuts down the process but waits until all current requests are
fulfilled. If the process has received 3 of these signals and
requests are still pending, a shutdown is forced.
SIGINT Shuts down the process immediately.
This prints some caching statistics to the log file.
The way to start the dirmngr in the foreground (as done by tools if no
dirmngr is running in the background) is to use:
dirmngr --server -v
If a dirmngr is supposed to be used as a system wide daemon, it should
be started like:
This will force it to go into the backround, read the default
certificates (including the trusted root certificates) and listen on a
socket for client requests. It does also print information about the
socket used but they are only for compatibilty reasons with old GnuPG
versions and may be ignored.
Dirmngr makes use of several directories when running in daemon mode:
This is where all the configuration files are expected by
This directory should be filled with certificates of Root CAs
you are trusting in checking the CRLS and signing OCSP Reponses.
Usually these are the same certificates you use with the
applications making use of dirmngr. It is expected that each of
these certificate files contain exactly one DER encoded
certificate in a file with the suffix ‘.crt’ or ‘.der’. dirmngr
reads those certificates on startup and when given a SIGHUP.
Certificates which are not readable or do not make up a proper
X.509 certificate are ignored; see the log file for details.
Note that for OCSP responses the certificate specified using the
option --ocsp-signer is always considered valid to sign OCSP
This directory may contain extra certificates which are
preloaded into the interal cache on startup. This is convenient
in cases you have a couple intermediate CA certificates or
certificates ususally used to sign OCSP reponses. These
certificates are first tried before going out to the net to look
for them. These certificates must also be DER encoded and
suffixed with ‘.crt’ or ‘.der’.
This directory keeps the socket file for accsing dirmngr
services. The name of the socket file will be ‘socket’. Make
sure that this directory has the proper permissions to let
dirmngr create the socket file and that eligible users may read
and write to that socket.
This directory is used to store cached CRLs. The ‘crls.d’ part
will be created by dirmngr if it does not exists but you need to
make sure that the upper directory exists.
The full documentation for this tool is maintained as a Texinfo manual.
If dirmngr and the info program are properly installed at your site,
should give you access to the complete manual including a menu
structure and an index.