Achieve Encrypted Cross-Platform Password Syncing With KeePass & Dropbox
Oh, passwords. Too hard to remember if they’re all different; too insecure if they’re all the same. Is there any relief?
Between these apps you can store passwords on your Windows, Linux, and Mac machines. Unfortunately, however, your files are stored on only one computer at a time.
Unless you throw in a little Dropbox magic.
I’ve previously discussed unique and interesting ways to use Dropbox , pointing out that Dropbox can be used to make any application work on all your computers. Combine Dropbox and KeePass, for example, and your passwords are securely stored on every computer you own – regardless of the operating systems they use!
I use this method to sync passwords between my Ubuntu netbook, my iMac and my wife’s Windows laptop, for example. This makes it easy for us to remember the various passwords we need to use every day without compromising our security.
Step 1: Install KeePass/KeePassX
Doesn’t sound very hard, does it? Windows users need simply to head over to the KeyPass download site and run the executable installer (or simply grab the portable app, depending on preference). Note that the classic version is preferable, if you plan to sync between Windows and another operating system.
Mac users need only to download KeePassX for Mac and then do the standard Mac installation dance: drag the icon to Applications, then drag to the dock from there.
Ubuntu users need only to click here to install KeePassX. Users of other Linux distributions need to check their package managers for “keepassx” or check out KeePassX’s download page for instructions.
Get your respective programs installed on your various computers. Done? Good; let’s move on.
Step 2: Set Up Dropbox
You now need to install Dropbox, assuming you don’t already use this great application. Just head over toto get started. You’ll need to install a piece of software and create an account, but once you do you’ll be ready to sync files between all your computers, quickly and easily. Be sure to install Dropbox on all your computers, using the same account on each!
Do you prefer an alternative syncing program, such as SugarSync? Go right ahead and use that instead. Any program that can quickly synchronize your computers wherever you are will work perfectly for this.
Step 3: Create A Database In Your Dropbox
Now you can create your new KeyPass/KeyPassX database. Just fire up your KeePass version and create a new database in your Dropbox.
Just keep in mind: KeyPassX cannot open newer KeePass files. This means that if you want to sync your passwords from a Windows machine to a Linux or Mac one, you’ll need to make sure you’re using KeePass Classic on your Windows machine. Read the KeePassX FAQ for more information.
Also be sure to create the database in your Dropbox. Doing this ensures that your KeyPass data will sync between all your computers.
Once that’s done, go ahead and open the file with your other machines and you’ve got easy password syncing set up. Be sure to read Dave’s article about KeePass to learn how to get the most out of this software, and enjoy!
Got any suggestions to improve on this guide, or alternative ways of achieving the same thing? Let us know in the comments below so everyone can gain from your knowledge. Also feel free to ask questions, because I love answering them.