Overview of background tasks

GPG Suite Updater

Path /Library/Application Support/GPGTools/GPGSuite_Updater.app
Location /Library/LaunchAgents/
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.updater.plist
Required: No
This launch agent is responsible for launching our update check app every 3 hours. The update check itself will only happen once a day.


The gpg-agent is a standard component that comes with GnuPG. It is responsible for caching your password.


Path /usr/local/MacGPG2/libexec/fixGpgHome
Location: /Library/LaunchAgents/
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.macgpg2.fix
Required: No
This launch agent starts a bash script – /usr/local/MacGPG2/libexec/fixGpgHome – on login which fixes the permissions of the ~/.gnupg folder and makes sure that it’s only readable and writable by the current user, checks if a valid pinentry – the program requesting your passphrase when signing or decrypting data or fetching that passphrase from macOS keychain if so configured – is available in your ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf and sets the configuration option to our default pinentry (/usr/local/MacGPG2/libexec/pinentry-mac.app) if that is not the case. Las but not least, it also copies default configuration files from /usr/local/MacGPG2/etc/skel/.gnupg/ to ~/.gnupg if they don't exist.


Path /usr/local/MacGPG2/libexec/shutdown-gpg-agent
Location /Library/LaunchAgents/
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.macgpg2.shutdown-gpg-agent
Required: No
This launch agent starts the bash script /usr/local/MacGPG2/libexec/shutdown-gpg-agent in the background when a user logs in, which sleeps forever and just waits for a signal from macOS that the current user is logging out and then kilsl the gpg-agent process. gpg-agent is the process used by GnuPG to cache passphrases temporarily or invoke pinentry to request passphrases from the user when necessary. If this process is not killed when the user logs out, gpg-agent would no longer be able to request the user for their passphrase. By killing it on log out it is automatically restarted when needed.


Path /Library/Application Support/GPGTools/org.gpgtools.Libmacgpg.xpc
Location: /Library/LaunchAgents/
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.Libmacgpg.xpc
Required: Yes
Libmacgpg.xpc is a background service which is necessary to communicate with GnuPG from our Mail plugin. Since the mail plugin can’t directly invoke binaries, the background service workaround is necessary.
This service absolutely can’t be disabled if you want to continue using GPG Mail.


Path /Library/Application Support/GPGTools/uuid-patcher
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.gpgmail.patch-uuid-user
LaunchAgent plist org.gpgtools.gpgmail.enable-bundles
Each Mail.app version has a different UUID. That's a long number and bundles, which are supposed to run under that Mail.app version, needs to have that specific UUID. This patch integrates the latest UUID when you restart your system after an OS X update, so that GPGMail will still work afterwards.
Enable bundles makes sure, that bundles like GPGMail get loaded by Mail.app.

System Settings > General > Login Items > GPG Suite

Unfortunately we can’t tell what 2 items Apple is summarizing under this entry and Apple is completely opaque about it. Why not every entry has the (i) icon next to it or allows to expand and see the details, makes no sense to us at all. And while we do appreciate this new macOS Ventura feature, we feel, the implementation is currently really lacking. Our best guess is, this entry refers to org.gpgtools.updater.plist and org.gpgtools.Libmacgpg.xpc.plist.