Password Management

Managing the many hundreds of passwords I have across site on the Internet is non-trivially difficult. Grrr.

I primarily use Linux (Ubuntu 14.04) for my work, but also have a couple of OS X machines because Keynote is a really good presentation package, Linux on laptops is still lame, and a few other lower-priority reasons.

I've been using KeePass as my password manager. It's open source which is a win. It runs very well on Linux. It's written in C# and Mono runs C# well on Linux. But not so much on OS X.

On Linux, KeePass runs really well. The Chrome browser plugin for KeePass is excellent. The Firefox KeePass plugin is marginal.

On OS X, KeePass runs very slowly. It often takes 10 seconds to find and deliver a password. Oy.

Also, I synchronize my password files using SparkleShare via my own server. No DropBox or any other cloud service for me.

I recently read an excellent blog post on security by one of the AgileBits folks and decided to take a look into 1Password.

In terms of password managers, I prefer open source. If not open source, a company with a business model and a company that's not trying to transit my password files through their network.

The problem with 1Password was that there was no Linux version... but, I thought, how does it run in Wine?

The answer is "a whole lot better than KeePass runs in Mono on OS X".

So, I dropped $70 on AgileBits and am running 1Password across my machines.

To run 1Password on Ubuntu 14.04, install Wine via apt-get. You must start both 1Password.exe and Agile1Agent.exe to get connection to the browser. Here's my script:


echo "Starting 1Password..."

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/1Password\ 4/1Password.exe >> /tmp/1pwd.txt 2>&1 &

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/1Password\ 4/Agile1pAgent.exe >> /tmp/1pwd.txt 2>&1 &

tail /tmp/1pwd.txt

echo "Started..."

Finally, in 1Password, disable "Verify web browser code signature" via Help -> Advanced -> Verify web browser code signature

And there you have it... running 1Password across OS X and Linux.