Saturday, July 16, 2011

Manage your passwords with KeePassX

Nowadays it's not surprising to own numerous online accounts on various websites. Most people will probably have at least one webmail account, one social network account (FaceBook, Twitter, Google+), and maybe an account on various forums or even mailing lists.

If you're security conscious then you'll probably want to have a different password for each of those online services. Remembering all those username and password combinations, and which combination goes with which can be quite the challenge.

That's where KeePassX comes in handy. It's an open source password manager that securely stores your passwords for easy retrieval. You'll need to manually enter usernames and passwords for your online accounts, and you'll need to remember to keep those stored passwords up-to-date, but you'll only need to remember just the one master password to have access to all your accounts once everything's setup.

KeePassX in Software Center
The best part is KeePassX is available in Ubuntu Software Center. Just open up Software Center, search for KeePassX, then install from there. With Ubuntu 11.04, you can even tell Software Center to add a Unity launcher for you for easier access.

Creating a key file for KeePassX
After installing KeePassX, you need to create a database to store your accounts info and a corresponding master key or key file the first time you launch KeePassX. This is the password you'll need to remember to have full access to your accounts info later on.

Adding an account entry
Adding account information is a simple click away. Type in the important stuff (username and password), and give the entry a name so you'll know what it's for. You can even add comments if there's anything particular about the account you need to remember.

KeePassX even provides buttons to copy an account's username/password to clipboard so you don't even have to type the password manually. If you still prefer to do so, just click the button with the eye icon to reveal your password when you need to see it and click once again to hide it.