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assword(1) assword(1)


assword - Simple and secure password management and retrieval system


assword <command> [<args>...]


The password database is stored as a single json object, OpenPGP encrypted and signed, and written to local disk (see ASSWORD_DB). The file is created upon addition of the first entry. Database entries are keyed by 'context'. During retrieval of passwords the database is decrypted and read into memory. Contexts are searched by sub-string match.

Contexts can be any string. If a context string is not specified on the command line it can be provided at a prompt, which features tab completion for contexts already in the database. One may also specify a context of '-' to read the context from stdin, or ':' to force a prompt.

Passwords are auto-generated by default with 18 bytes of entropy. The number of octets can be specified with the ASSWORD_PASSWORD environment variable or via the 'pwspec' optional argument to relevant commands. The length of the actually generated password will sometimes be longer than the specified bytes due to base64 encoding. If pwspec is ':' the user will be prompted for the password.


Add new entry. If the context already exists in the database an error will be thrown.
Replace password for entry. If the context does not already exist in the database an error will be thrown.
Update context for existing entry, keeping password the same. Special context value of '-' can only be provided to the old context.
Dump password database to stdout as json. If a string is provide only entries whose context contains the string will be dumped. Otherwise all entries are returned. Passwords will not be displayed unless ASSWORD_DUMP_PASSWORDS is set.
Launch minimal X GUI. Good for X11 window manager integration. Upon invocation the user will be prompted to decrypt the database, after which a graphical search prompt will be presented. If an additional string is provided, it will be added as the initial search string. All matching results for the query will be presented to the user. When a result is selected, the password will be retrieved according to the method specified by ASSWORD_XPASTE. If no match is found, the user has the opportunity to generate and store a new password, which is then delivered via ASSWORD_XPASTE.
Remove entry. If the context does not already exist in the database an error will be thrown.
Full usage or command help (also '-h' after command).
Print version.


During decryption, OpenPGP signatures on the db file are checked for validity. If any of them are found to not be valid, a warning message will be written to stderr.


Path to assword database file. Default: ~/.assword/db
File containing OpenPGP key ID of database encryption recipient. Default: ~/.assword/keyid
OpenPGP key ID of database encryption recipient. This overrides ASSWORD_KEYFILE if set.
See Passwords above.
Include passwords in dump when set.
Method for password retrieval. Options are: 'xdo', which attempts to type the password into the window that had focus on launch, or 'xclip' which inserts the password in the X clipboard. Default: xdo


Jameson Graef Rollins <> Daniel Kahn Gillmor <>

17 January 2017 assword