For those with real beards, a password manager is not a bad idea; an open-source password manager is better, but a command-line password manager is the pinnacle 😉
Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s quite rare to find them, and they are most of the time quite simplistic. That said, they do exist. So why not present them in the form of an article for everyone? Below, I list those that I know. It may not be exhaustive, so feel free to share your knowledge on the subject with me in the comments. This will allow me to add them.
Pass / Password-store
Pass is inspired by the Unix philosophy and uses GnuPG to encrypt and decrypt your passwords. Since each entry is only an encrypted file, it allows you to note your site identifiers, but also any additional text (username, email address, additional information, etc.). Each note can, therefore, be formatted, organized, or classified into folders according to your needs and desires.
One of the interests of Pass is the surrounding ecosystem. For example, it is possible to plug it into a Git repository to keep track of all your changes (creating a commit automatically, practical for keeping versions) or to synchronize everything between several machines. It also has graphical interfaces for most operating systems, scripts for data import/export, etc.
Presented as a manager more focused on teams, Gopass nevertheless remains usable by an individual. It allows you to store your information in several places, to share in detail with whom you share certain information, is multiplatform compatible (macOS, Linux, BSD, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox), and will soon offer binary data storage (not just passwords, but other data).
In addition, the API is fully compatible with Pass, the previous list manager, so you will be able to benefit from the latter’s complementary tools. If you want to see a demo, follow this link. The tool is still in the development phase, so it should improve over time.
The main advantage of Kpcli is that it works with Keepass databases. Initially developed for Ubuntu, it is now available on most Linux distros and some BSD environments. There has even been a version for Windows for a few months. The master password is encrypted in RAM, and you can add/edit your passwords or organize them into folders.
I recently wrote a short article on this command-line manager offered by Mozilla. It allows you to encrypt several files and sensitive data, including passwords. It’s always a little extra option.
There are others, but I don’t know them very well. So, I’ll let you explore the subject on your own while waiting for me to find the time to test them:
Other types of managers that might interest you:
- Free Password Managers