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Re: problems building emacs with libgpm & gnutls on an old Debian system

From: Robert Pluim
Subject: Re: problems building emacs with libgpm & gnutls on an old Debian system (Jessie)
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:49:44 +0200

>>>>> On Fri, 07 Aug 2020 11:18:45 +0100, Eric S Fraga <> said:

    Eric> On Thursday,  6 Aug 2020 at 19:40, Robert Pluim wrote:
    >> I think you can configure emacs using '--without-libgmp', then it will
    >> use a builtin version of gmp. Iʼm assuming that linking to libgnutls
    >> only has a runtime dependency on libgmp, not a requirement to have
    >> access to gmp headers.

    Eric> Hi Robert,

    Eric> Thank you.  This worked, in the sense that Emacs compiles with GNUTLS
    Eric> enabled and GMP disabled.


    Eric> However, when I try to open servers in gnus, I get the following error
    Eric> message for each server (whether pop, imap, or nntp):

    Eric> ,----
    Eric> | Decrypting /home/ucecesf/s/dotfiles/authinfo.gpg...done 
    Eric> | Mail source (pop :server XXX :user YYY :port 995) error (Getting 
random data).
    Eric> | Continue? (y or n) 
    Eric> `----

That means 'getrandom' is failing. Do you have HAVE_GETRANDOM set in
src/config.h? If not, emacs will use the gnulib version. Itʼs entirely
possible that itʼs not working quite right on such an old
system. Looking at the code, it will try to open "/dev/random" or

Or the system one is failing, in which case you can try the gnulib one
by unsetting HAVE_GETRANDOM in src/config.h

    Eric> I have a feeling that this is gnutls related but I am not sure.  Any
    Eric> pointers would again be very welcome!

    Eric> I may have to consider upgrading that computer to Debian stretch... 
    Eric> that would be my last resort.

I suspect that would take quite some doing.


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