KeePassX: Keeping Your Passwords Safe

The password generator is available by clicking the Gen button within the New Entry window (or from Extras→Password Generator). A box as shown in Figure 4 appears. This feature allows you to create a random, strong password. Three tabs are available within the generator: Random, Pronounceable and Custom. Under Random, you can select various criteria for generating a password, based on types of characters used, uppercase or lowercase and so on. Under Pronounceable, some similar options to Random are available, although the selections here are to generate a password exclusively or near exclusively with letters. Finally, under Custom, an entry box is shown, allowing you to type in a word or phrase to define what characters are used to generate a password. The bottom of the password generator includes several features, such as setting the length of the password, a password bit strength indicator and use of an entropy generator. The entropy generator creates a random set of data (based on keyboard activity or mouse movement) upon which to base generated passwords.

Figure 4. KeePassX's Password Generator

The Expire option in the New Entry window allows you to set a date indicating how long the password should last. This can serve as a reminder to change passwords regularly for extra security. To view which passwords already have expired, select Extras→Show Expired Entries.

To use a stored user name or password, KeePassX has two options: either copy the information from KeePassX and paste it into the required entry areas, or select the AutoType feature. To copy the information, select either Copy Username to Clipboard or Copy Password to Clipboard from the toolbar, or choose the same-named options under the Entries menu. For AutoType, select Entries→Perform AutoType while the browser is open to the desired login page; the information will be entered automatically.

Figure 5. KeePassX's Main Window, with an Entry Displayed

To lock KeePassX from others' use (such as when you step away from the computer), select File→Lock Workspace, or select Lock Workspace from the toolbar. To unlock KeePassX, select the Unlock button displayed, and enter the database's master password. For more privacy, an option also exists to hide passwords and/or user names. Go to View and select Hide Usernames and/or Hide Passwords. Asterisks will be displayed in place of the user names and/or passwords.

Figure 6. An Entry with User Name and Password Information Hidden

If you have multiple databases to manage, KeePassX also offers a bookmark feature. To bookmark a database file, select File→Bookmarks, and choose either Add Bookmark (to bookmark a database file) or Bookmark This Database (to bookmark the presently open database). The bookmarks then will appear under the Bookmarks menu. There's also a Manage Database option to manage existing bookmarks.

To import or export database files, go to File and select Import from or Export to. Import formats besides KeePassX include PwManager and KWallet. Export formats include KeePassX and as a text file.



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Re - KeePassX: Keeping Your Passwords Safe

Logo Design's picture

Thanks a lot for sharing info about this precious software. I was always looking for a software like this, so that I am easily able to safe my passwords.

Thanks for pointing me to

DavidSoluri's picture

Thanks for pointing me to KeePassX. I was using the same 2-3 password for all my logins, because I just can't remember a different one for each site/service. Using the same pass over and over again obviously is a bad idea, KeePassX solved this problem for me. Bilder-Shop

Lastpass not on all platforms

Anonymous's picture

Finally, LastPass is a good competitor but I find the plugin does not work for my Firefox 9.0.1 on FreeBSD. "Platform not supported".

Lastpass is a browser plugin, which seems to be different from KeePassX, I don't know if there's much to choose between the two if you're on Linux, but as a FreeBSD user I now conclude KeePassX is the definitive choice out of the three.

No plugins is good

Anonymous's picture

At the risk of going on and on as I discover more by pieces, it seems KeePass also suports plugins, which is another reason why you might prefer KeePassX.

KeePassX doesn't expose itself to new and unknown code through a plugins interface: it hasn't got one. That should keep the blighters out :-)

Ok, so THAT'S what "Mono" is

Anonymous's picture

So after some additional research

I found out that "Mono" is a Dot Net emulation layer

So for those of us who would rather not have this additional bloat living on our systems KeePassX may be preferable. Presumably that's why KeePassX came to be.

I imagine, though I'm not sure, that there may be additional security risk with a system that's binary compatible with Dot Net.

Why not KeePass

Anonymous's picture

I don't get it. It seems that KeePass is the same as KeePassX except KeePassX can't use (presumably more advanced) version 2 file format of KeePass.

So KeePass is better? So what if it requires "Mono"?

I don't understand why I wouldn't use KeePass.

now i get it (sort of)

Bluff Taylor's picture

I think I understand. Keepassx is a place to store passwords. You open it with a single password, then copy and paste username to a website. Then come back to Keepassx, copy and paste the password to the website, and log in.

This, as far as I can tell, is identical to keeping all my passwords in pwrds.txt, where they are now. One password opens the file, and reveals all my passwords. Any thief who finds that one password has access to all of them.

This seems like a lot of hullabaloo for nothing. Of course I'm wrong. Why would all of you be using something like this if there's not some benefit to it? I'd be grateful for an explanation.


The nice thing about keypassx

bourne's picture

The nice thing about keypassx is that the password information is encrypted and offers a nice management interface with lots of options. your right though that if someone learns the master password then they get access to all your passwords. Hopefully though that doesn't happen


Anonymous's picture

Being that I have, at last count, over 300 passwords. When I started using KeepPass years ago I found the auto-type to be clumsy and it put wrong things in wrong fields unless I directed it with a ctl-V. Here's a blog entry I wrote back in 2008 on passwords and keepass

Five years later and a lot has changed online. For one thing I'm using KeepassX instead of Keepass. You remember those earth tremors last year when my Windows machine bricked and my habits changed.

I use keypass/keypassx and

bourne's picture

I use keypass/keypassx and have for the past few years. I also combined it with dropbox and it works like a charm. It's gotten me out of a few tough situations. Good article! Definitely recommend this setup.

Excellent tips for password management!

DanielAndersonABS's picture

Excellent tips for password management! I tend to store my carefully crafted passwords on Word or Excel spreadsheets. However this gives me a great sustainable tool without compromising on security levels. I use Dropbox frequently for work and personal use, and it's definitely a nice touch to see that KeyPassX is integrated with Dropbox as a feature.


tehmasp's picture

I use KeePassX - it is pretty good.

I also use LastPass and for certain things that I don't want in the cloud I keep it in a text file in a TrueCrypt volume - the volume is small enough and secure enough (at least for my simple reasons) that I don't mind backing it up to my Dropbox and Google Drive services.

Thanks for sharing!



Anonymous's picture

I've been using it for years and never had it let me down once. I therefore agree with the author: KeePassX is worth trying.

I tried it, then quickly quit using it

Anonymous's picture

I looked into KeePassX, and liked it. I set it up, stored all of my passwords in it, and apparently there was some kind of save option that I wasn't aware of, because after a restart it had saved NONE of my entries. I had put probably 20 items in there, and they were all gone. I've never run it since.

Or not?

Anonymous's picture

It asks you to save the database when you quit, how could you miss it?

keepassX with keepasshttp

Anonymous's picture

When will keepassx have something like keepasshttp? I have keepassx saved in Dropbox but it would be more updated if the browser itself interfaces with it.


Trenton's picture

After reading the article I think I'll just keep using Figaro Password Manager (fpm). It is simple and I like it.

I use the original KeyPass,

Leb's picture

I use the original KeyPass, but I also use a system for coming up with easy to remember and secure passwords. I use an easy to remember phrase and create an acronym of that phrase for the password. As part of the phrase I incorporate the domain of the particular site, so that the password is different for most sites. I also make sure there is at least one occurrence of the word "For" or "To" and one occurrence of the word "And", substituting them with "4", "2", and "&" respectively. For example:
My password For Linux Journal dot Com That is Easy To Remember And Secure!
Using the same template for Amazon dot Com:
For getting to email accounts, incorporate the address along with the domain. For

After about a week of using this on every site, typing the password becomes second nature. The only time this is a problem is with those sites that don't allow special characters in their passwords. For those sites, just change the "&" to "a" and leave off the "!", or maybe change it to "i". And be sure you have an entry in KeyPass for these exceptions.

KeePass instead of KeePassX?

Jan Christoph Ebersbach's picture

I was also using KeePassX when I discovered KeePass, the predecessor. KeePass has the advantage of a browser integration (KeePassHTTP) which I really like. It comes passes passwords directly into the browser session so I don't have copy&paste them. The downside is that it requires Mono.