Manage your passwords securely in Ubuntu with KeePassX

As security issues become more and more important issue is the protection of passwords (as well as other methods such as multi-step authentication) has never been greater.

With this in mind, I recently tried out several secure password managers to try to find something secure but still easy to use and cross-platform.

The first thing I tried LastPass. This is perhaps the most famous tool to manage your passwords, and since this app works through the web, it is the most cross platform of all. However, despite the overwhelming number of tools and options, I found that the interface is not enough.

Then I tried KeePass 2. Despite the fact that this is a great, functional app, very similar to tool, which I will explain in a minute, it does not provide official Linux packages, in this regard, it is unattractive for a user. So I tried other apps.

Of all the tested applications, my favorite was KeePassX. He started as a Linux version of KeePass, but eventually turned into a standalone application. It is superior to KeePass 2 as its a more pleasant interface.

Using KeePassX on Ubuntu

Whether that KeePassX already has packages in Ubuntu available for installation.

Install KeePassX from the command line or from software Center:

Install KeePassX from the Ubuntu software Center

When you open it you will see a blank window. Use the first button on the toolbar to create a new database. You can protect it using a file with a key, or password. You may need a password that is easy to remember and type – you are going to score a lot of times, but, on the other hand, you don’t want anyone else applied to your database.

Next you need to save it somewhere. I kept my Dropbox and now I can access it from anywhere. Dropbox uses two-factor authentication, so if someone wants to login to my Dropbox for access to this database, it will also need my phone, which makes the process safe enough.

In addition, you can use other services like Google Drive and Skydrive that use standard Authenticator app, or a Box that uses the SMS for two-factor authentication.

Of course, if you are really worried about your passwords, you probably don’t want to keep them where the other parties will be able to get a theoretical access.

Using the app is actually quite simple. You can add groups and in these groups you can add the keys. KeePassX also includes a handy password generator that you can use when you are not required to choose a password.

I tend to generate their passwords with all the main and special characters, 20 characters, but of course it depends on which characters are allowed to use a particular resource.

It is important to note that some websites do not always tell you how long they take the password and just prefer to limit the input field. If your entered password does not look long enough, perhaps, its share has reduced. This happened to me a few times.

With daily use KeePassX, I noticed a few things that should make using it even a bit simpler:

Kopipastny paranoia

You may be worried about the idea of copying and pasting passwords. It is definitely more efficient than typing them manually. Default KeePassX clears the clipboard in about a minute, but you can cut the time in settings. You do not need to worry that someone else will insert the password and you will see it on your computer. You can also use the AutoType feature that automatically enters your password, but it is a bit useless since for some reason it puts the password in one field with the user name. Apparently, it’s just not working for me.

Dilemma database

If you keep a database in the cloud, do not set the password to the cloud service a completely random set of characters. It is wrong to store the password inside the cloud, if you can’t get access to the cloud. This idea may seem obvious, but I grasped the truth immediately.


Constantly pull out your phone during work or study, in order to access the most commonly used accounts can be painfully annoying, so keep this in mind when setting up passwords.


If you have previously compared KeePass 2 and KeePassX, you can see that they use different database formats.

KeePass 2 uses a newer format that offers such things as custom fields. Although KeePassX is not yet ready to use the new format .kdbx, the new version is in development and will support this format.

You can view the new version of KeePassX with a much improved interface below. And you can download it for manual compilation on GitHub.

Other devices

As I said at the beginning of my post, I was looking for something cross-platform. This is a great advantage of the format .kdb – currently, many applications support it.

On Android I use KeePassDroid, which works well both on phone and tablet.


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