Posts about passwords

Password databases: setting up password-store on a Unix computer

Having covered what pass is, why I'm using it, and the required supporting tools gnupg, git, ssh and a private git remote, it's time to go over how to put the system together.

Setting it all up on a Unix computer is fairly straight-forward. Getting it onto an Android is a bit different. So in this post I'll cover how the pieces of the system fit together, and then walk through setting it up on Unix.

Synchronising your local password-store git repository with your remote store is done a bit differently depending if this is the first time you're setting up the remote, or if you already have a remote and you wish to merge it into your new local. I'll cover that too.

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Password databases: from KeePassX to Unix password store

Passwords. We all have a lot of them to remember — most of us have too many. How do you keep track of them all?

Originally I used to just remember passwords for everything, like most people. I soon found this doesn't scale past about 7 passwords and PINs. Rather than use the same passwords everywhere, I started to keep a secret list of passwords, but it was a pain to keep that list with me, and what if it was discovered?

After been keeping my passwords in a GPG-encrypted text file for a few years, I then started using a KeePassX database, and that's been pretty successful. I sync the database to my phone so that I can have my passwords with me whenever needed, but it is a little bit clunky to use.

At the recomendation from someone at work, I checked out pass, “the standard Unix password manager”. It offers all the features I've been using from KeePassX for a few years now, only with much better syncronisation based upon git+ssh.

Pass is also integrated into browsers, editors, and even a few operating systems, so it's potentially a lot less clunky and risky to use than how I was using KeePassX with passwords entered via the system clipboard.

This post reviews my password management approaches to date and gives an overview of Pass.

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