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muacrypt: Autocrypt encryption for mail agents

muacrypt is a support tool for implementing Autocrypt Level 1 compliant mail agents. Autocrypt state is kept in one or more accounts which process and produce autocrypt headers from respective incoming and outgoing e-mail. Each account is tied to a set of e-mail addresses, specified as a regular expression. Functionality is exposed through a command line tool muacrypt and a Python api obtained through import muacrypt. There is an evolving plugin architecture which allows to add and modify behaviour of muacrypt.

This README is intended to help contributors to get setup with running tests and using the command line tool. The online docs at

contain more documentation about overall goals of the project.


To use the code and run tests you need to have installed:

  • the command line client "gpg", optionally "gpg2", available through "gnupg" and "gnugp2" on debian.
  • something to speed up gpg key creation, e.g. by installing "rng-tools" on debian.
  • python2.7 and python3.5 including headers ("python2.7-dev" and "python3.5-dev" on debian).
  • "tox" to run automated tests ("python-tox" on Debian)

In one installation command on Debian:

apt install gnupg2 rng-tools python2.7-dev python3.5-dev python-tox

Afterwards you can run all tests:

$ tox


You'll need the command line client "gpg", optionally "gpg2", available through "gnupg" and "gnugp2" on debian.

To install the muacrypt command line tool you can install the "muacrypt" python package into your virtual environment of choice. If you don't know about python's virtual environments you may just install the debian package "python-pip" and then use "pip" to install the muacrypt library and command line too:

$ pip install --user muacrypt

The muacrypt command line tool will be installed into $HOME/.local/bin which needs to be in your PATH.

installation for development

If you plan to work/modify the sources and have a github checkout we strongly recommend to create and activate a python virtualenv and then once use pip without sudo in edit mode:

$ virtualenv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate
$ pip install -e .

Changes you subsequently make to the sources will be available without further installing the muacrypt package again.

running the command line

After installation simply run the main command:


to see available sub commands and options. Start by initializing an Autocrypt account which will maintain its own keyring and not interfere with your possibly existing gpg default keyring:

$ muacrypt add-account

Afterwards you can create an Autocrypt header for an email address:

$ muacrypt make-header

You can process and integrate peer's Autocrypt keys by piping an email message into the process-incoming subcommand:

$ muacrypt process-incoming <EMAIL_MESSAGE_FILE

At any point you can show the status of your muacrypt account:

$ muacrypt status


Autocrypt and more for Mail User Agents







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