4 Open Source Password Managers To Keep Your Passwords Safe

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KeePass/KeePassX is a popular open source project that has won the hearts of thousands, with a myriad of plugins and extensions such as KeeFox and ChromelPass, that dramatically improve the user experience. However, KeePass isn’t the only open source password manager out there. If you’re looking for a simpler but still secure application where you can store your login credentials and important notes, why note check out additional open source programs?

Even if you’re accustomed to your beloved and convenient commercial password manager, it’s probably not a bad idea to try other ultra secure applications that offer some of the same features and risk less at your expense. If you’re ready for some password manager goodness, read on!

Clipperz [Web-based]

Clipperz is a web-based password manager, not unlike LastPass, with a major difference in that it’s open source. Jim reviewed it here a couple of years ago so be sure to check his review for more details.

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Pros:

  • Support for direct one-click logins (made with a special bookmarklet) so users can login automatically from the Clipperz website.
  • Provides an encrypted HTML copy for offline read-only use.
  • Login history is recorded.
  • Registration requires no email (just a username and passphrase) so users can maintain anonymity.
  • Works on any OS with a major browser (like Firefox or Opera) that has Javascript enabled.
  • Compact site for Firefox sidebar and Opera panel with access to direct one-click logins.
  • Clipperz can also store notes with sensitive content.
  • Password generator available.
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  • Users can import data from a number of password managers.
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Cons:

  • Saving direct logins involves manually copy-pasting code onto Clipperz website,
  • Direct login codes don’t seem to work for all sites. In my tests, Imageshack and Springpad couldn’t create direct logins from the bookmarklet, but users can always create new “web passwords” or cards and specify the website URL manually.
  • No support for passphrase recovery since emails aren’t required.
  • Cannot organize accounts in groups.

Yadabyte Passwords [Windows]

Yadabyte Passwords is like a tiny Keepass manager, except it carries fewer bells and whistles. Though it’s a bit older, this portable password manager is absolutely a breeze to use. You simply create a master password and then type the usernames, passwords, and URLs for all the services you want included in your password database.

Pros:

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  • Portable
  • Easy to use
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Cons:

  • Might be too simple for some users as it doesn’t have lots of features.
  • Cannot organize accounts in groups.

Password Gorilla [Cross-Platform]

Password Gorilla is a password manager and personal vault that can store login information and notes. The application consists of a single executable that allows you to create a database and save it to a specified location. The encrypted database can only be read in Password Gorilla of course, but the database is actually a different file, separate from the application, so you can create several databases if you wish.

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Pros:

  • Portable
  • Can create groups and subgroups to organize passwords and sites.
  • Can import password databases saved in CSV format.
  • Automatically locks the database after a defined amount of minutes.
  • Can clear the clipboard after specified number of seconds.
  • Users can set what double-clicking a login does: open a browser directed to the URL, copy password to clipboard, edit login or do nothing.
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  • Can copy username and password to the clipboard with keyboard shortcuts.

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Cons:

  • Exported files are unencrypted plain text files.
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Universal Password Manager [Cross-Platform; Android]

Universal Password Manager is a simple program that uses 128bit AES encryption and, like Password Gorilla, allows you to create databases once you’ve set a master password.

Pros:

  • Databases can be exported and imported.
  • Android app available.
  • Can load and sync remote databases from URL.
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  • Can copy username and password to clipboard with keyboard shortcuts.
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Cons:

  • Cannot organize accounts in groups though they are alphabetized. A workaround could be to create several databases.

From this list, I prefer Password Gorilla as it has robust features. There are, however, dozens of additional open source programs we couldn’t possibly cover, so if you’re eager to learn more, be sure to check out LockCrypt, Password Safe, SilverLock, OpenSimSim and Oubliette.

Do you use an open source password manager and have tips to share? Enlighten us  in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock – Mario7

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8 Comments -

Damso Kalansuriya

I use biowallet for android with biowalletToBrowser plugin and chrome extension. The best thing is it can authenticate user from his signature.

Jessica Cam W.

That’s a new one for me. Is it open source?

Saikat Basu

We tend to ignore Firefox’s own password manager. Locked with a master password, it’s seamlessly blends in with our workflow. You have to enter the master password each time you start a new session. It can be backed up easily too.

Jessica Cam W.

Firefox – how could I forget?! Great suggestion, Saikat!

rMatey180

 I have used Password Gorilla for over two years, and am extremely satisfied with it.  I use it on my Linux desktop and notebook, and my Win 7 desktop for my school forensics work.

Jessica Cam W.

Great! Do you have any Password Gorilla tips that new users could use?

Lee

Thanks for the reviews.

How come exporting to a text file is a con? The whole point of exporting the passwords is to transfer the passwords to a different format (mostly consist of clear text). In fact, if the application will not allow clear text password export – that will be a big con.

(and +1 for Firefox + master password)

Jessica Cam W.

I was thinking about the potential dangers of having a file with your
passwords in plain text, as opposed to having it encrypted (e.g. encrypting
KeePass database with TrueCrypt), but I do see your point that the ability
to export large amounts of sensitive information like passwords is
desirable. Perhaps I should have been clearer. Thanks for the observation.