Let's say I made my private key using Enigmail. Then I imported it into a Windows program called GPG4USB. When I want to decrypt a message it asks for my encryption password but it doesn't accept the password I provided with Enigmail originally. Both software are derivatives of GnuPG. Am I understanding it correctly that different implementations are not compatible with each other or am I doing something wrong?
closed as off topic by Gilles, AJ Henderson, Iszi, Scott Pack, this.josh Jan 22 '13 at 18:10
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Someone is doing something wrong, but not necessarily you. GnuPG follows the OpenPGP format, which is a standard.
The format includes provisions for using several cryptographic algorithms; not all implementations support all of them. However, GnuPG tends to implement the same algorithms as... itself.
The usual suspect for password interoperability issues is encoding: passwords are characters but must be converted to bytes in order to do cryptography with them. If you have a non-ASCII character in your password, it is possible that one front-end used latin-1 (or a superset such as Windows-1252) while the other preferred UTF-8, resulting in a distinct sequence of bytes for the same password. Even with ASCII, you can get issues with UTF-16, which is not ASCII-compatible.