Squishy thoughts — crazy in small doses

Moving back to KeePassXC

April 12, 2021

I’ve been using gopass for a few years to manage my passwords. It’s a nice solution and I especially like that it uses git as a storage engine. Two things began to bother me though. One was that I had problems organizing my passwords in a way that was practical to me. Since it’s just a directory of files, it is easy to manage using a file browser. The thing is I usually don’t use file browsers; I do all file management through a terminal. I tried organizing the files through the terminal but that required you to do stuff like:

gopass mv mydir/mypassword otherdir/mypassword

which gets tedious to type after a while. You could move all the files and then commit the changes I suppose, but it won’t make a huge difference. I think part of the problem was that I actually wanted a WYSIWYG interface to get an overview of what passwords I had. I tried a few GUI wrappers for gopass but the ones I tried I found lacking.

The second thing was that I never remembered how to use GPG. gopass organizes your passwords as separate files and to keep the passwords safe it uses GPG to encrypt them. It uses public-key encryption which allows a user to decide what other users are allowed to decrypt a password if used in a team setting (something I’ve never had the opportunity to try). Since I only used GPG for gopass I didn’t use it enough to remember how to do things with it. This led to problems every time I wanted to sync the password database with a new device since I needed get the new device to be able to decrypt and encrypt passwords.

Eventually, this made me move back to KeePassXC which I had been using before moving to gopass. The browser plugins for KeePass and gopass are very similar so it didn’t present much of a change in use flow.

Keeping the password database synced between devices had to change from a git repository to using Syncthing. I was already using Syncthing for keeping my devices in sync so nothing had to be done to get this working.

I have now used KeePassXC for a few months and it’s nice knowing I won’t have to relearn GPG again (did I just jinx it?). The GUI is a bit jarring since this is the only QT-based application I have but I can live with that for now.

Tags: linux