Quickstart Guide to NouveauPG for OS X

To encrypt a message for some party, you must first import their certificate into NouveauPG.

You can import public key certificates from either the clipboard or a file.

Before using a certificate, be sure it’s valid. NouveauPG will warn before performing encryption with an invalid certificate.

 Click on Compose Message to write a new message for the recipient.

You can either type a message or choose a file to encrypt. At this time, NouveauPG will only encrypt plain text files. (UTF-8 supported)

You can export your encrypted message by copying to the clipboard, or save as a text file.

If you wish to receive encrypted messages from another party, you must first create a new identity. Press the add button on the lower left hand corner of the window.

An identity looks a lot like the public key certificate but you have two more options: Decrypt Message and Private Keystore

The two new options are protected by the password you chose while creating the account.

To decrypt a message, either paste the encrypted message in the space provided or load an encrypted message from a file.

You should use the Private Keystore feature to backup your identity. Make sure your keystore is saved on an encrypted volume. To restore an identity, or move it to a new computer, simply import the private key block.

The number one issue that people have brought up (which I mention in numerous places is that you cannot export your private key to a different PGP program) There is a good reason for this, it’s very technical but it’s the reason NouveauPG has such a simpler interface than any other competitors.

NouveauPG for OS X waiting for review

new icon
The New Icon

After taking into account feedback from the beta last year, and taking a “break” to develop NouveauPG for iOS, I am now pleased to announce the first GA release of NouveauPG for OS X.

Functionally, not much has changed from the beta, however many bugs have been removed and the interface is polished to the degree expected in the Apple App Stores.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 1.02.07 PM

How to Encrypt Messages using NouveauPG for OS X

NOTE: this post pertains to v1.10

OpenPGP allows you to pass secure data  across an insecure channel such websites, forums, and even private e-mail.

To decrypt messages, you first must generate a key pair before anyone can encrypt messages for you.

The key pair has a public part and a private part.

Often the public part is called a public key certificate.

If you only want to send encrypted messages to another party using OpenPGP, you do not need to generate a key. You need to get the public key certificate of the intended recipient.

Copy the public key certificate to the clipboard
Copy the public key certificate to the clipboard

Copy the public key certificate to your clipboard.

Importing clipboard contents into NouveauPG
A public key certificate has been validated and can be imported into NouveauPG, Note this is from an older version, but the popup is the same

Import the public key certificate from your clipboard.

Make sure it is selected as your current recipient. Press encrypt.

Your encrypted message will pop up, where you can copy the message to the clipboard or save to a file. It is practically impossible to decrypt the message without the private key, so you can post the message anywhere without worrying about anyone else reading it.

1.01b update released

There was a defect in the last build that seemed to be causing problems for a few users. If you attempted to write to the local database while the program is on a read only medium (like the compressed disk image NouveauPG is distributed in) the write failed silently and users were left wondering why they could not import or create PGP key pairs.

As of version 1.01b, NouveauPG displays a dialog when a write fails and no longer gives any indication that the operation succeeded. Apparently this distribution method is confusing for some, but I have decided to stay with compressed disk images because it seems to be the standard (outside of the app store, of course). Although this method is more confusing, it has always been a goal of this project to produce an application bundle that can be shuffled between computers on removable media.

I have tried to illustrate the installation process below. I appreciate those that have provided feedback, I don’t think I would have found this bug on my own.