On a new install
Debian Stretch GNU Emacs 24.5.1 gpg (GnuPG) 2.1.18 libgcrypt 1.7.6-beta pinentry-gnome3 (pinentry) 1.0.0 ls - /usr/bin/pinent* /usr/bin/pinentry -> /etc/alternatives/pinentry /usr/bin/pinentry-curses /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3 /usr/bin/pinentry-gtk-2 /usr/bin/pinentry-qt /usr/bin/pinentry-qt4 -> pinentry-qt /usr/bin/pinentry-tty /usr/bin/pinentry-x11 -> /etc/alternatives/pinentry-x11 ls -1 /etc/alternatives/pinentry* /etc/alternatives/pinentry -> /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3 /etc/alternatives/pinentry-x11 -> /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3
I'm still getting a popup dialog titled
pinentry-gnome3 asking for the passphrase. When I changed pinentry symlink to point to the other varieties, analogous behaviour ensued.
What do I need to do to have the passphrase handled in the minibuffer?
======================================================================== EDIT 2017-05-02: After more research, it seems the current Debian distro is opposed to having emacs handle the passphrase and the distro has gone to some effort to thwart it. So, my conclusion is that it is not possible without going outside the distro. In personal correspondence today, the distro remains opposed.
This wasn't always the case. I may boot back to a Wheezy installation (a point at which I know it was possible) to see if C-h l retrieves the passphrase.
Here are a few links. The most recent Debian discussion is about 3 months old:
Here are some alternatives to EasyPG:
here are some other links with related info:
https://dev.gnupg.org/rP676b1ac38d0c1db754492b6817bbc6195dcef300 https://dev.gnupg.org/search/query/FIKmVT3HTNd./#R https://emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/20824/how-to-use-minibuffer-instead-of-pop-up-window-for-gpg-files?rq=1 https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/55638/can-emacs-use-gpg-agent-in-a-terminal-at-all/278875 https://emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/12212/how-to-type-the-password-of-a-gpg-file-only-when-opening-it