• I have IRC username and password in my emacs .init file
  • I share my .init file across devices using a public github repo
  • I encrypt this heading in my .init to avoid showing
  • org-encrypt-entry does NOT always encrypt upon saving file
  • thus I always have to check before git push
  • also sometimes I share snippets of my .init with people in IRC to help troubleshoot. Today I posted my IRC pw's and had to immediately reset.

Instead of hardcoding un/pw's in my .init file, can I use some elisp to reference a .gpg dir/file elsewhere?

  • 1
    Have you looked into using authinfo/netrc and storing your machine settings in a different location on your hard drive? If your irc stuff is not set-up for that, have a look at get-auth-info which uses the built-in auth-source library: emacs.stackexchange.com/a/5844/2287 That link is for a different usage, but the concept is the same -- i.e., how to extract authorization credentials from the authinfo/netrc file.
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 18:12
  • 1
    I saw another relevant example the other day at github.com/jwiegley/dot-emacs/blob/… and github.com/jwiegley/dot-emacs/blob/…
    – phils
    Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 21:26
  • Thank you for the input. This got me in the direction I needed to be going.
    – SeaDude
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 5:09

1 Answer 1


Took quite a bit of trial and error, but here was the eventual solution:

  • Create .authinfo.gpg file in a directory of your choice
  • Add the following to the .authinfo.gpg file (for IRC login)

machine irc.freenode.net login <your-irc-nick> port nickserv password <your-irc-pw>

  • Add the following to your emacs .init file

Set the dir where .authinfo.gpg exists

(setq auth-sources 
      '((:source "~/.emacs.d/.authinfo.gpg"
       auth-source-debug t)))

Not sure what this does exactly, but it was required to get things working: https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/rcircAutoAuthentication

(defadvice rcirc (before rcirc-read-from-authinfo activate)
  (unless arg
  (dolist (p (auth-source-search :port '("nickserv")
                 :require '(:port :user :secret)))
(let ((secret (plist-get p :secret))
      (method (intern (plist-get p :port))))
  (add-to-list 'rcirc-authinfo
           (list (plist-get p :host)
             (plist-get p :user)
             (if (functionp secret)
             (funcall secret)

This is, more or less, just general rcirc setup which may help you too :)

(setq rcirc-default-nick "<your-nick>"
  rcirc-default-user-name "<your-nick>"
  rcirc-auto-authenticate-flag t
  rcirc-log-flag t
  rcirc-log-directory "</path/to/irc-logs>"
  rcirc-track-minor-mode 1
  '(("irc.freenode.net" :channels ("#your" "#favorite" "#irc-channels"))))

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