A very convenient feature of Curl is that if invoked with curl -n, it will try to read credentials of a target service our of a local .netrc file, and if found, use them for authentication. The trouble is that these credentials default to being stored in plain text, which is something that we’d like to avoid by using GPG.

The first step here is to encrypt your .netrc:

$ gpg -r <your email> -e ~/.netrc
$ ls ~/.netrc.gpg
$ rm ~/.netrc

Now we can can pipe the decrypted output of our .netrc file from gpg, and have Curl read it in (this should go in your appropriate *rc file):

$ alias curl="curl --netrc-file <( gpg --batch -q -d ~/.netrc.gpg )"

Because we’ve folded this into an alias, curl can be invoked normally:

$ curl -n


November 10, 2014

Find me on Twitter at @brandur.

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