pass: My favorite password manager

I’ve been waiting for quite a while to mention pass, and now that the time has come, I’m rather excited about it.


pass, for me, might be the quintessential Unixy program. It uses a lot of the existing Linux environment to encrypt, sort, manage and store all my passwords, and does it in a way that is completely obvious.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on pass, but I don’t need to either.

Want to see the passwords you have? pass ls. Want to remove a password? pass rm (name). Everything is structured like a folder tree, as you can see above.

And you can arrange and nest them however you like. If you have four GMail accounts, like me, they can all go inside GMail, which can go inside a folder called e-mail, or whatever you prefer.

And even better, if you go poking around in the .password-store folder, you’ll see — omigosh! they’re all arranged in a folder tree! 😯 🙄

You can even go inside that tree and kick things around a bit, and pass won’t mind at all. Usually. 😕

You’ll need to work up your local gnupg structure to get pass working, but it should require only that you step through gpg --gen-key, and pass will work off of that. If you’ve already done that, you’re one step closer to password management nirvana.

So let’s recap: Minimal overhead and no frilly side points, follows a logical style, needs no specialized file structures or esoteric encryption libraries, keeps its commands similar to shell commands, has a pretty tree structure … yep, I think that’s it.

On the down side? Well … ah … hmmm. Aha! No color! 👿

In spite of that shortcoming, I’m willing to hand out one of K.Mandla’s highly coveted gold smilies to pass, because I like it so much. Congrats! 😀

7 thoughts on “pass: My favorite password manager

  1. cyrano

    great! i search many times for a simple, secure password tool. i think, i have found it.

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