GPGSuite updater steals focus from X11 apps.

Janne Johansson's Avatar

Janne Johansson

18 Oct, 2017 08:55 AM

I have no idea what this program thinks it is doing, but it steals focus from X11/Quartz so that my typing goes into /dev/null.
There are programs to list where focus is going when it changes, and it looks like this for me:

$ /usr/bin/python 2017-10-18 10:43:43.996 Python[58857:22034839] activated XQuartz (org.macosforge.xquartz.X11)
2017-10-18 10:43:50.119 Python[58857:22034839] activated Terminal (
2017-10-18 10:43:54.277 Python[58857:22034839] activated XQuartz (org.macosforge.xquartz.X11)
2017-10-18 10:44:12.112 Python[58857:22034839] activated GPGSuite_Updater (org.gpgtools.updater)
2017-10-18 10:44:22.181 Python[58857:22034839] activated XQuartz (org.macosforge.xquartz.X11)
2017-10-18 10:45:49.142 Python[58857:22034839] activated Terminal (
2017-10-18 10:45:50.490 Python[58857:22034839] activated XQuartz (org.macosforge.xquartz.X11)
2017-10-18 10:45:52.329 Python[58857:22034839] activated GPGSuite_Updater (org.gpgtools.updater)
2017-10-18 10:45:55.259 Python[58857:22034839] activated XQuartz (org.macosforge.xquartz.X11)
2017-10-18 10:45:56.082 Python[58857:22034839] activated Terminal (

so at random, within a minute or so, GPGSuite decides to not put up a window or GUI, but still steal my focus.
Version: 2017.1 on High Sierra

Googling for "steals my X11 focus" turns up a few programs over the years doing exactly this, and I guess GPGSuite felt they needed to join that list. 8-(
Since I need to actually work, I think I will have to uninstall this until solved, I have to use X11 and can't really have a program grab focus every minute.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Luke Le on 18 Oct, 2017 01:21 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hi Janne,

    we are very sorry our suite is causing you problems.
    The updater should only run every 3 hours, so there's definitely something very wrong here.
    Could you send us the output of the following command:
    cat /Library/LaunchAgents/org.gpgtools.updater.plist


  2. 2 Posted by Janne Johansson on 18 Oct, 2017 01:47 PM

    Janne Johansson's Avatar

    I'm somewhat sorry for my tone, I was slightly upset from having
    my focus grabbed at "random" intervals, making my remote-X11 console
    stop accepting input. Took me rather long to find good search terms
    to find others with same issue (though other causes that GPGtools in
    those cases), which of course didn't help my moods either.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Luke Le on 18 Oct, 2017 01:48 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Oh please, this is absolutely understandable. I just want to assure you that we definitely don't do something like this on purpose. Do you have other cases with the same issue and GPG Suite at fault? We are very interested in learning more.

  4. 4 Posted by Janne Johansson on 18 Oct, 2017 03:39 PM

    Janne Johansson's Avatar

    No, not a single one with GPG found, just "random" updaters,
    like google chrome, some location preference thing
    that fired off every X (low values of x) minutes and so on.

    The common part seemed to be X11 programs were losing focus,
    and mostly crontab-style updaters or periodic programs being
    the culprits, found by that python script.

    Perhaps this is super common, except most updaters run every
    2 weeks or so, which means you'd never notice it for years unless
    you always have a certain style of program up exactly when it
    would run.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Luke Le on 18 Oct, 2017 03:42 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Ah ok, would have been strange since this is the first time we hear of this problem, which makes me believe that your installation might be corrupted.
    Would you mind sending the output of cat /Library/LaunchAgents/org.gpgtools.updater.plist and launchctl list org.gpgtools.updater
    The only reason why the updater might be restarted so often is if it crashes for some reason.

  6. 6 Posted by Aryeh on 12 Dec, 2017 10:07 AM

    Aryeh's Avatar

    I am having the same problem. I don't see how you can claim you have never heard of the problem, when this thread from July mentions the same.

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Luke Le on 13 Dec, 2017 02:57 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hi Aryeh,

    I have personally not seen this problem, and didn't find the ticket referencing it at the time. Unfortunately we have yet to receive more detailed user feedback. We have never been able to reproduce the issue ourselves.
    It would be very helpful Aryeh, if you could run the commands I mentioned in my last post and post the output here.


  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by Steve on 13 Dec, 2017 05:28 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    We have a ticket for this problem. I connected this discussion with the existing ticket. That means, should this discussion get closed, it will be re-opened as soon as the ticket is closed. That way you'll stay in the loop and get notified as soon as we have news. Feel free to open a new discussions should you run into further problems or need assistance.

  9. 9 Posted by Aryeh Abramovit... on 13 Dec, 2017 08:46 PM

    Aryeh Abramovitz's Avatar

    cat /Library/LaunchAgents/org.gpgtools.updater.plist

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">

    <plist version="1.0">


















    Note: before I took away the executable bit of gpgsuite_updater to stop it
    from driving me up the wall, the output of the lastexitstatus was 0.


    "LimitLoadToSessionType" = "Aqua";

    "Label" = "org.gpgtools.updater";

    "TimeOut" = 30;

    "OnDemand" = true;

    "LastExitStatus" = 19968;

    "Program" = "/Library/Application

    "ProgramArguments" = (




  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Luke Le on 14 Dec, 2017 09:26 AM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hi Aryeh,

    thank you for the debug info. This is in fact very curious, since both files look file. The updater should only check every 3 hours. Are you using Quartz/X11 as well by any chance?

  11. 11 Posted by Aryeh Abramovit... on 19 Dec, 2017 04:17 PM

    Aryeh Abramovitz's Avatar

    Yes, xquartz

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Luke Le on 19 Dec, 2017 04:27 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hmm... I wonder if this is somehow related. For the last couple of days, I had a script running which informs you via speech at what point which app takes focus, and there were no anomalies I could make out.

    I just wanted to send you the commands to update the interval or disable the update check entirely and came across something else, that might be launching the updater/crash-reporter: The launch agent for the updater/crash-reporter is configured to listen to changes in your ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports folder, in order to send us crashlogs of Mail (if allowed in System Preferences -> GPG Suite). There's a possibility that you have a process which is crashing a lot. That in turn might launch the updater more often than usual. Could you your ~/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports for processes that crash often?

  13. 13 Posted by Aryeh Abramovit... on 19 Dec, 2017 10:14 PM

    Aryeh Abramovitz's Avatar

    Here's a month of crashes, they are not every 3 minutes to say the least.

    rw-r--r-- 1 arabramo staff 187590 Nov 13 19:11

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12517 Nov 20 12:53

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10264 Nov 20 17:48

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55378 Nov 21 18:35

    -rw-r--r-- 1 arabramo staff 160771 Nov 21 18:50

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54961 Nov 26 22:56

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12317 Nov 27 00:43

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12317 Nov 27 11:24

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54972 Nov 27 13:27

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54961 Nov 27 21:46

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55200 Nov 28 15:59

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55047 Nov 28 16:53

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55138 Nov 28 20:08

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10264 Nov 28 20:23

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55373 Nov 28 20:50

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10291 Nov 28 22:01

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12887 Nov 29 07:03

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55301 Nov 29 09:55

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55133 Nov 29 12:09

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55132 Nov 29 14:49

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54967 Nov 29 20:47

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54969 Nov 30 16:46

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55133 Nov 30 18:34

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55375 Nov 30 18:38

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55133 Dec 1 09:27

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 55139 Dec 1 11:02

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12377 Dec 1 11:48

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10266 Dec 1 13:19

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12505 Dec 1 14:26

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10194 Dec 3 11:14

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 11733 Dec 4 09:43

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 11808 Dec 4 14:20

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12168 Dec 5 09:08

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10264 Dec 6 13:52

    -rw-r--r-- 1 arabramo staff 198691 Dec 7 09:22

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 47505 Dec 7 09:28 Brackets

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 54426 Dec 7 09:28 Electron

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 12647 Dec 7 10:34

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 156414 Dec 8 12:37 Cisco

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10262 Dec 11 11:59

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10311 Dec 12 16:48

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10313 Dec 12 17:56

    -rw-------@ 1 arabramo staff 10287 Dec 13 13:45

    -rw-r--r-- 1 arabramo staff 149034 Dec 13 22:21

    -rw-r--r-- 1 arabramo staff 152589 Dec 13 23:48

  14. Support Staff 14 Posted by Luke Le on 22 Jan, 2018 12:12 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Hi Aryeh,

    thanks for the update. It looks like the crashes are not at fault then. We are still looking into this but have not yet managed to reproduce the issue on any of our machines.
    So the easiest solution for now, would be to disable the launch agent altogether. You can either delete the /Library/LaunchAgents/org.gpgtools.updater.plist or disable it by running the following command:

    launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.gpgtools.updater.plist

    Hope that helps for now.

  15. Steve closed this discussion on 28 Mar, 2018 11:49 AM.

  16. Support Staff 15 Posted by Steve on 24 Jun, 2020 01:28 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Just an update on the reported issue about the GPG Suite Updater stealing focus from X11: GPG Suite 2020.1 fixes this problem.

    Have a great day,

  17. Steve closed this discussion on 24 Jun, 2020 01:28 PM.

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