The ideal password manager on Linux?




KeePass was my very first option password supervisor, but as time went by, I recognized that it has some persistent problems. Its time to glance for a substitute!

Troubles with KeePass

To begin with, it is well worth mentioning that KeePass does a lot of factors effectively. It is no cost and open up-resource. You can retail outlet all your passwords in a protected databases, which is locked with a master critical. So, you only have to try to remember the learn essential to unlock the databases. It has integrations with browsers, and a good attribute established. Even so, it has some concerns that established me off on a path to explore solutions.

KeePass is published in C# (.Net framework). It formally supports macOS and Linux working units by way of the use of Mono, which is an open supply implementation of Microsoft’s .Web Framework. Hence, it has the native seem-and-really feel of a Home windows software. This can be a bit odd on Linux and MacOS, but not that huge deal!

You can set up KeePass on Ubuntu utilizing the keepass2 package. And this functions, but perhaps not as you may hope.

A plugin is necessary for communicating with the browser extensions to complete other features these types of as autofilling fields. You have to download the plugin your self and drop it into a specific folder where ever you put in it to. Then, you want to set up the accompanying browser extension for them to interact in variety of a customer-server way.

The plugin I used was not maintained by the main project. It was advisable (as a great deal as I can keep in mind) to use the KeePassHttp-Connector for Firefox at the time, which was designed independently by Andy Brandt (kudos to him). This project has now been archived and is no lengthier taken care of.

It is a problem to have this features outside of the remit of the main task. Relying on plugins for browser integration in this fashion is not a great setup in my view.

I had problems trying to keep the plugin up-to-day with the accompanying extension. At times, it would just quit operating if the extension essential a certain version of the plugin. Then, I would will need to update the plugin myself,ensuring that they are compatible.

A personalized peev was not getting able to use typical keyboard shortcuts this sort of as Ctrl + C to copy text of the fields from the application. When this plugin-extension model challenge occured, I experienced to: open KeePass, observe down the entry, and copy the password area manually. Having to find the textual content with the mouse and then proper-click to duplicate the text through a context menu was an excess nuisance.

What are the alternatives?

There are some initiatives that are forks of KeePass, namely KeePassX and KeePassXC.

KeePassX has discontinued improvement. I would skip it.

KeePassXC is actively formulated and appears promising. Let us search into it even further, for positive!

If a KeePass relative is not pretty your velocity, Spectre is really worth looking at. It takes a dramatically unique solution to KeePass, it is a “password application that contains no passwords”! Whaat?

Spectre takes advantage of a password cipher algorithm to hash and retail store your credentials for internet websites as a one benefit, if I am knowing it accurately. I you should not entirely get how it is effective stop-to-finish. It does not look to have an import function if you have an current databases/dataset of passwords, which is a offer-breaker for me.

If you favor to use an on the web services, you can test LastPass (Freemium proprietary), 1Password (Paid proprietary), or Bitwarden (Freemium proprietary). I do not want anyone to host my passwords, on the other hand airtight all the things is. No offer for me.

Quickly forwarding, I experimented with and favored KeePassXC. So, I did not dig deeper. Go through on if you want to uncover out extra about KeePassXC.

If you want to investigate a lot more possibilities, seem by means of this record on AlternativeTo.internet.

Inform me extra about KeePassXC

KeePassXC is an open up source challenge composed in C++. It is compiled to system-precise exectuables, so it has the indigenous appear-and-truly feel of the OS it is jogging on.

KeePassXC makes use of the KeePass 2.x (.kdbx) password database structure as the indigenous format. So, you should really be in a position to swap to it from KeePass without any situation.

KeePassXC has a identical characteristic established to KeePass. The crucial just one for me is that browser integration is a main feature.

The core capabilities are:

  • Create, open up, and conserve databases in the KDBX structure (KeePass appropriate to KDBX4 and KDBX3)
  • Keep delicate data in entries that are organized by teams
  • Lookup for entries
  • Password generator
  • Auto-Kind passwords into applications
  • Browser integration with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Chromium, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor-Browser
  • Entry icon download
  • Import databases from CSV, 1Password, and KeePass1 formats

There are extra highly developed capabilities way too that you can review.

The tech collective PrivacyTools has integrated KeePassXC in their record of advised password supervisor application for the reason that of its energetic progress.

It ticks all of the bins for me.

Let us get it established up and see how it goes!

Installing and configuring KeePassXC on Ubuntu

KeePassXC is offered as a bundle in quite a few Linux bundle managers.

I will put in it for Ubuntu utilizing the formal PPA:

sudo increase-apt-repository ppa:phoerious/keepassxc
sudo apt update
sudo apt set up keepassxc
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The latest version at the second is 2.7.1. You can keepassxc --edition to test the variation installed.

And without a doubt, this has set up the most recent edition! Yay!

Now, open the application and this is what you see.

default view of KeePassXC

Now, you can open an present databases. This labored as envisioned for me. Or you can generate a new databases.

To configure it with your browser of selection, go the key menu and pick Applications, then opt for Configurations from the dropdown. Then, go to the Browser Integrations tab, as beneath.

browser integration tab in settings

Now, you can pick out the browsers you want to use. There are back links to obtain the KeePassXC-Browser extension for all of the significant browsers. Incredibly useful!

I opened the “Google Chrome / Chromium / Vivaldi / Courageous” connection in Courageous. It opens the web page for the KeePassXC-Browser in the chrome world-wide-web retailer. There is a blue “Increase to Brave” button. I clicked it to set up the extension.

chromestore keepassxc-browser extension in brave

When you set up an extension, you may well be prompted to pin it to the menu bar for brief obtain. In this situation, it does not take place, and it is easy to have offered so that you to see if you are related to your databases.

We can pin the extension to the menu bar ourselves by clicking the extensions settings button (a jigsaw piece) and simply click the pin up coming to the extension identify, as per screenshot under.

pin icon to menu-bar

Now, click on on the pinned KeePassXC icon to reveal the link standing. If your databases is open, you will see a “Join” button, as down below.

keepassxc-extension settings dialog showing connection status

Click this and you will prompted to enter a vital affiliation for the browser. Enter one particular (I entered “brave”) and simply click the “Help you save” button. You really should now be related, as under.

keepassxc extension settings dialog connected message

Now, when you open a web site that has an entry in your databases, it should give you choices to fill the qualifications in for you.

For case in point, I have the adhering to entry for GitHub. You can use “” for the URL subject, no need to have to give the URL for the true signin page, KeePassXC will recognize the login web site when you open it for web sites.

github entry in my database

Now, when you go to the “Indication in” web page on GitHub, you will see the KeePassXC icon in the Username or e mail deal with text field.

github signin with keepassxc icon in user field

Click on this icon and it will fill in your username and password!

It also features to fill the fields as a brief suggestion when the Username or e-mail address field receives target and you push the down important.

There are even further alternatives that be accessed in a context menu when you suitable-click on within one particular of the fields, as down below.

keepassxc-extension context-menu offered by right-clicking inside the field

Want to know much more?

Dive into the Obtaining Started off Guide.

Syncing throughout products

If you want to sync the databases file across devices, you can use any syncing approach you like. You can use a services like DropBox if you wish. Or as an alternative you can use ssh in KeePassXC, so you can securely entry your databases file remotely!

If you do choose to sync the file, glimpse into the File Administration options to assure there is no conflict with your sync course of action. It is in all probability a very good notion to disable the settings “Quickly save immediately after every single improve”. There is an possibility to exclusively handle this problem referred to as “Use alternate conserving system (could solve problems with Dropbox, Google Generate, GVFS, and so on.)”

file management settings

You can flip on periodic backups also, with the “Backup database file prior to saving” possibility. Better safe than sorry, ideal?

Wrapping up

It is fairly speedy to get established-up with KeePassXC. I found it simpler to use than KeePass, albeit I have expertise with KeePass. Importantly, it resolves the challenge I had with browser integration., and there is no friction with switching from KeePass. I can suggest using it.

Is it the most effective password supervisor?

It is usually superior to increase the strategy of “very best” to “ideal for your desires”. For the attributes I use, it does every little thing I want admirably. I did not come to feel the will need to attempt out the rivals. I will depart that up to you. Lazy, I know! 🦥😀

I hope this has shone some light-weight on how to manage your personal passwords securely!

What is your favorite password supervisor?

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