5 of the Best Password Managers for Linux

Password Manager Featured

Password manager is the best if you want to use strong and hard to crack passwords for your various accounts and you don’t want to remember each and every one of them. And if you are also a Linux user, there are plenty of password managers you can use too. Here are some of the best password managers for Linux.

What Is a Password Manager?

Password managers are tools that make it easy for you to generate strong and unique passwords and securely store them in one place. You only need to remember a master password to unlock the vault, which you can then access all your other passwords.

Criteria For A Good Password Manager

Not all password managers are created equal. For a password manager to be in this best list, it has to meet the following key metrics: supports the latest security encryption, multiple device support and compatibility, and vault accessibility.

1. Buttercup

Buttercup made it onto this list because it’s one of the few open-source, cross-platform, multi-device password managers. It can be used on Linux, Mac, Windows OS, iOS, and Android, and there’s an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox too.

Buttercup Featured

When it comes to data encryption and security, Buttercup uses the 256bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a widely used and trusted data encryption algorithm. It includes the abilities to save your password database locally, use third-party cloud services, export and import your password database in various formats, and two-factor authentication.

2. Bitwarden

Bitwarden is one of the most popular password managers. It is cross-platform, multi-device, and an open source utility for anyone to contribute and use.

Btiwarden Featured

Apart from its intuitive and very easy to use user interface, Bitwarden also provides features such as extension support for all major browsers, high encryption standards (including 256-bit AES), multiple device support (including smartphones), and Family and Business password sharing.

Bitwarden has various packages, including a free one which is suitable for most users. However, you can also add a Premium package or self-host your own.

3. LastPass

LastPass is one of the most popular password managers. LastPass is cross-platform with support for desktop clients for all major operating systems.

LastPass provides features such as support for the AES-256 bit encryption standard, a browser extension compatible with most browsers, multi-factor authentication, and an extra security layer using salted hashes. Also included are additional utilities, such as password generator, password health report and master passwords for your password vault.

LastPass also provides an easy-to-use Universal Linux Installer, which allows you to install a browser extension on installed browsers for your Linux distro.

4. KeePassXC

KeePassXC is a variant or fork of the open-source KeePass password manager tool for Windows. Besides being free, it’s natively designed to work well on Linux systems. It also offers multi-device and platform support for all major OSs, browsers, and smartphones, including Blackberry.

Keepassxc

It uses the AES-256-encryption to secure your password vault locally and a master password. It allows you to sync your encrypted password database using third-party cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, and has a very functional GUI.

KeePassXC also offers unlimited storage space, which means you can use the auto-password generating feature to generate and store as many passwords as you want and auto-fill features for the main browsers.

5. Keeper

Although Keeper is not open source, it’s one of the best password managers. It supports multiple devices, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS. It also supports popular browsers.

Keeper

This well-designed and easy-to-use password manager uses 256-bit AES data encryption. It also has additional security measures, like two-factor authentication, a secure password generator, biometric log-in, and a database self-destruct feature after five wrong password entries. You can give read-only password access to trusted parties in case of an emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How secure are password managers?

Most Password Managers, especially ones discussed in the article, provide high-end encryption standards. They also provide the ability to autofill passwords for recognized domains. This can in turn help protect you against phishing attacks.

2. What happens if I forget my master password?

Unfortunately, most password managers do not provide recovery options for the master password. LastPass, on the other hand, may offer hints allowing you to reset the password.

If you forget your master password, simply purge the vault and reset passwords one after another.

3. How do I export my passwords?

Although not recommended, most password managers discussed in this guide do offer a password export option. You can export your passwords in various formats, including CSV or JSON.

4. Where are my passwords stored?

There are two main storage options when it comes to password managers: local and cloud storage. To ensure synchronization across multiple devices, most password managers will store passwords on remote servers. A few exceptions include Buttercup.

Wrapping Up

In a world where just about every online service requires a unique password, having a robust, capable, and secure password manager can make all the difference. Meanwhile, do also check out the best password manager for Android, iOS and macOS.

John Wachira

John is a technical writer at MTE, when is not busy writing tech tutorials, he is staring at the screen trying to debug code.

10 comments

  1. I know that it is the rage to store EVERYTHING in the cloud but once you store data on a third-party server, you cede control of that data to the server owner. For any of a dozen reasons you can be locked out from your password vault.

    1. Which is why you ALWAYS keep a copy on your pc, mac or linux.

      I suffered several strokes in 2020. Couldn’t recall the password. Also couldn’t recall the password for files stored on Mega.

      So, lost everything on Mega and, I thought, everything on Keepass. But I had stored on my computer the password for Keepass, albeit quite some months down the track.

      1. “Which is why you ALWAYS keep a copy on your pc, mac or linux.”
        You are quite right. One MUST keep a local backup of all data. However, I was/am trying to make a more general point about personal and/or confidential data. While you may retain access to it by keeping local backups, once you store that data on a third-party server, there is a chance that you could be sharing that confidential data with the server owner or anybody else who has access to the server.

        You may think I am paranoid but considering the frequency and sophistication of data breaches today, the less entities have access to your private/confidential data, the better.

        The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead (in this case, has no possibility accessing the data)

  2. I agree with dragonmouth, saving my passwords on servers is not for me. But buttercup may be desirable for my situation.Can you somehow print your PW locally as an additional way to keep them in case of a problem with the manager.I keep my passwords printed on paper and on several flash drives.Not on any computer or other device.But Chrome keeps them and I guess Firefox does also. We are all at the mercy of Big Tec.

  3. While I like the idea of a password manager, I have yet to find one that is stable and won’t lock me out of various important sites for various reasons (version change being the main). I use a paper notepad and pen to store all my passwords. This system has seen me through 15 years of computing with absolutely no issues ever while the password managers all failed one by one.

  4. “What happens if I forget my master password?”

    Shurely one should be keeping the master password in another password manager in case one forgets it?

    And to access that use something like a UBI Key (other brands available) or even a fingerprint scanner or, better again, a retinal image scanner.

  5. saying “Keepassxc uses AES-256” is burying the lede.

    Your passphrase to the vault is not directly used there. It goes through, in recent versions, a good amount of key stretching using Argon2 — that makes a LOT of difference to brute forcing efficacy.

  6. Password Safe (Designed by renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier) (pwsafe dot org ; for Windows version) is what I have been using since about 2005-2007 without any problems and everything is stored locally which is better than any of those online storage password managers which I don’t trust. like I said I have used that since about 2005-2007 on Windows and then used the windows database file on Linux (Mint) since Jan 2019 without issue.

    on Ubuntu variations you can simply do ‘sudo apt install passwordsafe’ or download the most recent version from here… sourceforge dot net/projects/passwordsafe/files/Linux/ (currently v1.13.0 is newest) ; for Linux Mint v20 series you would install “passwordsafe-ubuntu20-1.13-amd64.deb”.

    it uses Twofish encryption which is one of the best. and naturally, make sure to make multiple backup copies of your password managers database file so you never get into a situation where you lose all of your username/password data. the password safe database file is located at… “~/.pwsafe/”

  7. You might want to note that LastPass isn’t open source. You could also mention that Bitwarden can also be self-hosted. I’ve even written a howto: https://tech.oeru.org/setting-your-own-bitwarden-password-manager-and-sync-server

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