Using local password manager

Bit of history

Long time ago I was using LastPass. and it worked well for me for a long time, till it was acquired. I heard some "bad" things, which honestly I do not remember, but it was probably like the "free" option will go away.

I started looking for options, and chanced upon Dashlane.

Honestly it worked really well, but there is this inkling that I can't explain, that I need to move out.

I tried KeePass - but honestly, it just doesn't compare. It is a just a storage. Without ability to autofill the login pages, it is just too cumbersome.

I've been hearing great things about pass

I had tried it earlier in Feb 2017, but the companion browser addons did not work (at that time) So I went back to Dashlane (I never stopped)

Import the data from Dashlane

One of the issue was I wanted to import my existing data from Dashlane to pass. But this is not natively supported. (For various valid reasons) But there was an importer that worked with KeePass2 CSV file.

This is a python script - very well written - I might add.

It clearly documents the columns.

Dashlane has "unsecure" export option, which exports the passwords in "normal" CSV file.

The sequence of the columns required by the importer wasn't far off.

I manually fixed this issue, and populated the title column.

Upgrade. Issues

Since my pass was old, I decided to upgrade. Bunch of extensions also required relatively newer version.

brew upgrade pass

This upgraded gpg as well. Warning says "backup ~/.gnupg"

mv .gnupg .gnupg.back

Now that .gnupg was backed up, time to use the upgraded software.

brew link --overwrite gnupg
pass init <PassStore Key>
python dashlane-new.csv

Most import failed because there was no gpg key

So ..

gpg2 --full-generate-key

Now python dashlane-new.csv worked.

confirm using


Autofill aka Integration with the Browser

But pass is a command line tool. It is just a backend for storage and retrieval for the data.

For autofill, there is browserpass

There is some bug, which prevents autofill from working.

The workaround was to unlock the passstore using pass command from the terminal first. I was asked for the passphrase interactively in the terminal.

Once it was "unlocked", I had to (re) start firefox from the terminal using open -a firefox

As of this writing, see this open bugs related to gpg passphrase:

Keep the passstore up to date

One time import is never enough when switching password manager. Ability to update existing entries and creating new ones is equally important.

pass falls short here.

Inserting new entry is not easy as using Dashlane (which is very well integrated with the browser)

But "extension" are supposed to take care of that. There is already a feature request on the browserpass

None the less, here is how you do it.

pass insert group/username
Enter password for group/username:
Retype password for group/username:

I had a bit of a problem, since I had imported my old GPG keys from gpg1 to gpg2

When I used pass insert for the first time I saw the following error:

There is no assurance this key belongs to the named user

Since the working has changed a LOT (use of trustdb, as opposed to secring) I need to explicitly trust the imported keys.

The way to do this is "edit" the key and set the trust level explicitly.

# Get the list of keys
gpg2 --list-keys
# Edit the key(s) you just imported
gpg2 --edit-key <KEYID>
# When asked, choose the trust level (5) being maximum, called ultimate
# confirm with "y"

On a related note, KeePassXC, along with PassIFox looks promising. I'm waiting for this issue to be fixed so that I can continue to enable multiprocess support in Firefox.


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