If you’re on the hunt for a new Linux password manager then you might be interested to learn that a new option is on the horizon.

Password Safe is a relatively new, open source password manager in development, designed specifically for the GNOME desktop.

A graphical app making full use the GNOME HIG, Password Safe is a KeePass compatible password manager for Linux.

I should note that while it may have the same name, this Linux app is not related to the open-source Windows app Password Safe.

Why Linux Password Managers Are Handy

I can barely recall what I did yesterday, let alone remember the gobbledygook password I set when signing up for the latest Acme Inc. start-up

It’s important to use different passwords for each site, service and app you use, but it’s easier said that done.

My memory is junk. I can barely recall what I did yesterday, let alone remember what gobbledygook password I set when signing up for the latest Acme Inc. start-up I’d forgotten even existed until now, when I need to use it.

The collective human aversion to effort is why password managers like KeePass, Dashlane, and LastPass are incredibly popular at the moment.

Password managers let you create an encrypted ‘safe’ in which to store and sync your engorged list of password and login credentials for swift access at a later date.

Often cross-platform and cross-device, password managers remember all your pesky passwords for you. All you have to remember is a single master password to unlock the password safe, and leave the app to do the rest.

‘Password Safe’ is a KeePass Client for Linux

Features

Designed to ‘integrate perfectly with the GNOME desktop’, Password Safe has a simple, straight-forward UI with a honed feature set. Combined, these make it easy and effortless to manage, edit and sort your passwords and logins.

  • Create/import KeePass v4 safe
  • Random Password generator
  • Password, keyfile and composite key authentication
  • Create/edit groups and entries
  • Move/delete groups and entries
  • Database password changing
  • Local, global and full-text search filters

It certainly looks the part:

password safe is a password manager for Linux

Encryption

Like similar programmes, Password Safe safely stores your passwords in an encrypted database. This database is stored as a single file on your system, making it easy to move it (and your passwords) from device to device, and compatible app to compatible app.

The app supports the AES 256 encryption algorithm and the AES-KDF (KDBX 3.1) derivation algorithm (used by default in KeePassXC). Other algorithms are not supported at present.

Password Safe functions as KeePass client as it allows you to either create or import a Keepass v.4 format (KDBX 4) database. Philipp Schmitt’s pykeeypass library is used to allow the app to ‘interact with keepass databases’ saved in this format.

Using Password Safe on Linux

The app looks great, doesn’t it? And that’s despite the fact that it’s still under active development and (as of writing) yet to make a stable release.

A lack of stable release means, right now, it’s not as easy to install Password Safe on Linux distros like Ubuntu as you might like.

A development Flatpak is available from the project’s Gitlab page, while Arch users can install the latest Git version from the AUR.

Neither package is production ready, as the developer behind the tool cautions:

“Please be careful when using development versions. Create enough backups if you’re using a production database with Password Safe. It is possible that data loss will occur, though I give my best that this will never happen.”

That said, this is all open-source and you’re free to tango and tackle things right now. So, if you like what you see, you can learn more on how to install it on the Password Safe Gitlab page.

If you’re not ready to risk your passwords with a development app then a range of other well-tested password manager apps are available for Linux, including KeePassX, KeePassXC and Dashlane.

Do you use a password manager on Linux?