We have so many accounts and passwords in today’s world, that it may be hard to remember all of them. So, password manager application was born to help. With it, we just need to remember one password for the key file, then get all others via an app client.
There are quite a few paid applications to do the job, such as 1password and NordPass. But, if you’re looking for free and open-source alternatives, here I’m going to introduce some of them for storing passwords in Linux.
1. Password Safe
This is a 20 years old password manager originally written for Microsoft Windows. But now works also in Linux, FreeBSD, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.
By creating a database and setting master password, user can store as many accounts & passwords as possible into groups, subgroups in a tree structure.
And, it provides options to one click to copy username or password into clipboard, browse the URL, and send email. Also, it supports for automatically typing username and password into focused input box.
Password Safe can generate random password in customized length, syntax, and support expiry in given date and time.
However, it does not support database sharing. User can either copy and paste database file into a storage device or upload it into cloud service (e.g., Dropbox) for using anywhere in other devices. Also, it has ability to export/import database into/from either XML or plain text.
Get Password Safe
For Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD and their based systems, the app is available in system repository. Meaning, user can simply search for and install via Software app or system package manager.
Windows user can get it from its website, and for mobile just go to app store or Google Play.
This is another classic password manager app originally written for Microsoft Windows. But it officially supports macOS and Linux through the open-source Mono framework. It also works in mobile devices via unofficial ports.
KeePass is one year younger than Password Safe, but they both have old looking user interface in Linux system today.
It displays groups and sub-groups in left pane, and password entries in right. Supports one clicking copy user account, password, go to URL, send email and auto-type. As well, it can generate random password, export to CSV, KDBX, XML, HTML, and import from various formats, including KDBX, XML, CSV, HTML, Bitwarden JSON, 1password 1PUX, nPassword NPW and more.
The database is by default stored in local machine, and it support synchronizing either via file or URL. And, it has many plugins in its website for more functions support.
The app is available as either
keepass2 in many Linux’s own repositories, including Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenSUSE, Solus, Arch and ALT Linux. Just search for and install it via system package manager or software app.
Other system users may just go to its website for the clients.
KeePassXC is a native Linux application based on KeePass and works on Windows, and macOS. It’s one of the top-popular password manager for Linux community.
It stores encrypted database file in local machine and has all the common functions, like copy username and password to clipboard, perform auto-type, password generator and more.
KeePassXC has fully compatible with KeePass formats, supports for importing from CSV, 1password Vault, and exporting to CSV, HTML, XML.
It also has a command-line tool
keepassxc-cli for most common functions, browser integration for Firefox, Chrome/Chromium, and Edge to auto-fill username and password, SSH agent integration, and more.
As a native application, it looks good in Linux desktop and support both light and dark modes.
The password manager is available in most Linux system repositories. Just search for and install it from your system package manager or Software app.
It also offers the latest packages via Snap (available in Ubuntu Software), AppImage, Flatpak, and Ubuntu PPA. Along with macOS, Windows packages and source code, you can get them from the official download page:
4. GNOME Secrets
This is a Linux only password manager app designed for GNOME, though works in most other Linux desktops and Chrome OS.
It’s a GTK4 application that uses LibAdwaita for modern look and easy to use interface. And, I’m now using GNOME Secrets for saving my passwords.
The app is for local use only, though you can share the database file for using on other machines. And, it stores key file in KeePass 3.1/4 database that fully compatible with KeePassXC and KeePass.
Other features include assigning a color and additional attributes to entries, automatic database lock, clear clipboard automatically, adaptive interface for different screen size, two-factor authentication, and AES 256-bit, Twofish 256-bit, ChaCha20 256-bit encryption algorithms support.
How to Install GNOME Secrets
The app is available as universal Flatpak package that runs in sandbox. Just follow the setup guide to enable flatpak support. Then, you can use the bottom command in link below to install it in most Linux:
Bitwarden is an open-source password manager with both paid and free versions that work in Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and web browsers.
The free edition features zero-knowledge encryption, unlimited devices and syncing, sharing for 2 users, basic two-step login, and more. Though, user need to pay for additional features, such as advanced two-factor authentication, unlock via touchID, faceID, or Windows Hello, 1 GB encrypted file attachments and sharing.
And it supports for importing from over 50 password managers, and exporting to JSON, encrypted JSON, or CSV.
Most Linux user can install Bitwarden as universal Flatpak package, available in the link page below:
Others may just visit its website for the app and/or client.
This is a simple GTK3 password manager for Linux only for local use.
It just stores all your passwords in a single encrypted database file with basic functions, such as copy password to clipboard, import/export, and auto-lock on idle. Nothing else.
In this post I’ve introduced 6 free and open-source password managing applications for Linux. Bitwarden is the only one with built-in support for syncing your passwords across different devices. Though, KeePass2 can also sync either through file or URL or by using a plugin.
Linux community seems to prefer KeePassXC a bit more, though I use GNOME Secrets due to its modern UI and easy to use interface. Also, Revelation is a good choice that just do the work storing passwords for local use.
If you know any other good free open-source password managers, feel free to leave a comment here.