KeePass. Store passwords. Why do we need password managers?

KeePass. Store passwords. Why do we need password managers?

Just look at the latest news digests and see the frequency of leaks. Each time, more and more records get there. And very rarely do researchers find unique entries among the email/password collections. In simple words, users continue to use the same passwords for all services. And if the password gets into one of the databases, potentially all sites can be accessed. And very often you can check your mail or phone in the leak databases for some 5 dollars.

Another story, if a hacker gets access to the server and the first thing he will look at – passwords in the open in config files, notes, files, browser history, etc. This is an easy prey that will allow the hacker to break through further. And such history is quite popular when all passwords are stored in one file and transmitted by links in chats, by mail and have almost unlimited access to company resources.



Password managers solve the problem of working with passwords and certificates once and for all. It is not necessary to remember long and difficult passwords, each time to restore the password at a site. It is enough to install a password manager once, create a database and add the necessary accounts. You can synchronize the database with different devices. Modern solutions allow you to work on different operating systems.

There are certain differences in the versions. And they mainly concern visual design, module support and additional functionality. Many users choose KeePassXC because of the active development product. Others stay with the official KeePass and do not trust fork. Some say that there is no synchronization capability in KeePassX, and users of this solution place the base in the cloud and do not know the problems.

KeePass – launched in 2003, initially only for Windows, but now uses Mono to run on anything that supports Mono, such as Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD. It is the source of the password manager and works now.



KeePassX is the KeePass fork that was launched in 2005 to run KeePass on Linux. It is now available as firmware for Linux, Windows, OS X and others.

KeePassXC – KeePassXC was created because of slow development of KeePassX (its last update was v2.0.2 2016-02-02), while KeePassXC started with v2.1.0 2017-01-22.

In general, these products are very similar and have a common working principle. KeePassXC provides a choice between cryptographic algorithms Twofish and ChaCha20. Yes, KeePassX doesn’t work with plugins, but with normal configuration of any of the password managers, it’s much better to store passwords in text files and notes. So the choice is up to you and you can easily install multiple versions to understand the best option for yourself.

How to install KeePassX?

Run a command to install:

$ apt-get install keepassx

$ keepassx // to run

Interface KeePassX

After installation you need to create a database in which passwords will be stored. To do this, you must specify the encryption and storage options, as well as some work details. The first thing that starts creating the database is the master password. It is possible to use the key-file instead of the master password. If someone is able to find this password, they can decrypt your database and access all records. Therefore, the master password should be more than 15 characters long and not be primitive.

Password Wizard

After creating the base – you can create a group. This is relevant if there are separate directions for work. For example, it is possible to create a group “sites”, “servers”, “VPN”. Then visually it will be much easier to find the necessary record. The group is something similar to ordinary folders in the file system. But it is not necessary condition, right after creation of base it is possible to add records.

Create group

After that, you need to save the database. You can go to the “Database” menu or with Ctrl+Shift+S. This database can be stored on a flash drive and it can be opened on another device using KeePass and KeePassX by specifying your master password.

Saving database

To add a new entry, go to the group tab, in my case “Sites” and use the right button to select “Add new entry” or key combination Ctrl+N.

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Adding a new record

After that you should fill in the fields: name, login/password and URL. You can also add the parameter “Expires“, which will remind you about changing your password after a selected time. In the tab “Advanced” you can add some certificate or additional file. There are also visual settings where you can change icons, font and other parameters.

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Adding a new record

Once an entry is created, it will be displayed in the corresponding group or simply in the database. After that by selecting the desired record you can copy the login(CTRL+B) and password(CTRL+C).

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Work with records

After that, you can add other entries. You can also change the settings of KeePassX on the Tools->Settings tab. In terms of security, I recommend using this configuration. With this approach, after 60 seconds of inactivity, KeePassX will lock the base and you will need to enter a master password or key-file.

Security settings

Exclusion

KeePass tools and forks are distinguished by their reliability. There has never been a public case where KeePass services or infrastructure have been broken. The solutions are easy to use, easy to install and work on all operating systems. Using password managers allows solving several problems at once. At least, it is much safer to store passwords in a browser. It is convenient, secure and effortless, which is not always comparable with your own security and anonymity on the network.


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