Pass the password manager
3 minute reading time
Looking over the list of programs installed on my computer, one of my all time favorites is a program called Pass. It’s a program available under most Linux distributions, Mac OS X (through Brew), Windows, Android, and iOS. It stores all of the passwords using gpg encryption and stores them as actual files on the hard disk. Meaning if you wanted, you can sync them to all your devices!
This program assumes a light familiarity with the terminal
First if you do not already have a gpg key, create one.
Then in the terminal type in
pass init youremail@address
Substituting youremail@address with the email associated with your gpg key.
This will autmatically create an empty repository under your home folder in a folder labeled
If you are switching from an existing password manager, check to see if on the Pass homepage, there doesn’t exist a script to help you out
To insert a password into pass
pass insert password-name
It will then prompt you to enter the password
To show passwords you have already inserted
To show an individual password
But generally I find it handy to have it automatically in my clipboard. You can do that with the -c option
pass -c password-name
You can generate new secure passwords using pass. (-c copies the result into your clipboard)
pass generate -c password-name password-length
If you don’t want it to output symbols, use the -n option to restrict it to alphanumericals
pass generate -n -c password-name password-length
Another command i find handy is the
find command. Mainly because I have over a 100 passwords in this system and i tend to forget what I named some of them
pass find search-string
There are too many commands to list them all, but if you ever want to find out more, check out the manual entry page for
I use a nextCloud instance on my server to sync my passwords, but I don’t see a reason why this wouldn’t work with other projects like dropbox, syncthing, or any other sync solution
Some sync solutions don’t like to sync folders that begin with a ‘.’, my solution around this is to create a symbolic link between that and a folder you wish to link it to
ln -s /path/to/home/folder/.password-store /path/to/sync/folder/password-store
Then you just need to make sure to make the same link to all your other computers
I like Pass for it’s ease of use and for the fact that I’m not tied into any one company for managing my passwords. It’s based on open source tools and the fact I didn’t have to configure a database is a huge plus for me
If you’re in a need of a password manager (I hope you have more than one password), then give pass a shot. It served me and my many passwords well.