Manage passwords with Vim.
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This project is archived

Note that this project is archived. I added a convert-to-pass script to convert the contents of a password database to pass.

Manage passwords with Vim.

You will need Vim 7.4.399 or later (Vim 7.3 will also work, but has a flaw in the blowfish implementation and is not secure; we will warn for this).

This program was tested on FreeBSD & Arch Linux; it will probably also work on other POSIX systems (OpenBSD, MacOSX, Other Linuxes, etc.). It will not work on Windows.

Use ./pwbunny to start the program or use ./gpwbunny to use gVim. You can optionally specify a file to open, i.e.: ./pwbunny my-passwords. The default is passwords.pwbunny in the directory pwbunny was called from.
See pwbunny -h for more command-line options.

Clipboard support

Some functions need some way to access the clipboard. If Vim has +clipboard we’ll use that. If it doesn’t, we try to use one of these command-line utilities:

Clipboard support is useful but entirely optional.

You can also use the clipboard features over an ssh session with X11 forwarding, please see the notes in the ‘Security’ section before enabling this.

You also need to enable both ForwardX11 and ForwardX11Trusted; on the command-line this can be done with the -X and -Y flags, i.e.: ssh -XY $server

Or you can set these options for a host in your ~/.ssh/config:

Host myhost
	ForwardX11 yes
	ForwardX11Trusted yes

Password strength checking

Pwbunny can also check the strength of passwords. This requires either Python or Ruby support, and the he “zxcvbn” module for the language. Which you can find here:

The result is a number from 0 to 4, which represents an estimation of the crack time:

  • 0: 100 seconds (very bad)
  • 1: 2.5 hours (bit better, but still bad)
  • 2: 11 days (okay-ish)
  • 3: 3 years (good)
  • 4: Infinity (very good)


  • The file is encrypted with blowfish, which should be secure, although it is possible that the Vim implementation may be incorrect (a vulnerability was discovered, and fixed, in August 2014).

  • Your system’s memory will contain the plaintext contents. You should only run this program on trusted machines (i.e. not a shared host or the like).

  • Pwbunny uses the system’s clipboard extensively to get the passwords to your applications (e.g. browser); you should be aware that any program can read the clipboard, including malicious clipboard snoopers (as well as non-malicious snoopers, which may store their clipboard history database as world-readable in plain text).

  • Using ForwardX11Trusted effectively gives the server complete control over the machine you’re connecting with, which may be a serious security problem. Only use this if you fully trust the server, and do not set these options globally!

  • May not be safe against holy hand grenade attacks.


  • <Leader>a
    Add a new entry. This is the recommended way to add a new entry.

  • <Leader>g
    Go to an entry; try to open it in a browser (this uses gx).

  • <Leader>c
    Copy the password of the entry under the cursor (which may still be in a closed fold). This is especially useful if someone may be watching over your shoulder.
    By default, your clipboard will be automatically emptied after 10 seconds, this timeout can be changed (or disabled) by setting s:emptyclipboard in pwbunny.vim.

  • <Leader>u
    Copy the username of the entry under the cursor (which may still be in a closed fold); and after a user confirmation, also copy the password (as with <Leader>c)

  • <Leader>C
    Empty the clipboard.

  • <Leader>p
    Generate a random password.

  • <Leader>P
    Generate a random password & insert it at the cursor position.

  • <Leader>s
    Sort all entries by title (the first line).

  • <Leader>e
    Show an estimation of the password strength at the cursor position, where 0= horrible and 4=superb.

  • <Leader>E
    Show an estimation of all the password strengths that are lower than s:min_password_strength.

PS. By default, Vim maps <Leader> to \.


  • s:defaultuser
    Default username to use (default: unset).

  • s:site_from_clipboard
    Use the clipboard contents as default site; it will try and get the domain part from an URL (default: 1).

  • s:emptyclipboard = 10
    Empty the clipboard after this many seconds after calling PwbunnyCopyPassword(), set to 0 to disable (default: 10).

  • s:passwordlength = 15
    Length of generated passwords (default: 15).

  • s:autosort = 1
    Sort entries after adding a new one (default: 1).

  • s:min_password_strength = 4
    Minimal passwords strength, score of 0 to 4 based on a estimation of the actual crack time. See ‘Password strength checking’ above.

  • s:private = 0
    Start ‘private mode’ by default (name of site isn’t displayed in the fold text).

A score of 4 is recommended (this is the default), 3 is acceptable, 2 or lower is strongly discouraged

File format

The file format is simple:

  • An entry must have at least 3 lines.

  • An entry must be followed by 1 or more empty lines; except for the last entry, where an empty line is optional.

  • The first line must be the title and must be present. This line also doubles as the domain.

  • The second line must be the username, and may be blank.

  • The third line must be the password, and may be blank.

  • An entry may have as many lines as desired. This is useful for storing notes, answers to ‘security questions’ (which should also be random), and other extra data (e.g. SSH fingerprints).


Version 1.3, 2016-02-25

  • Keep more backups of the password database instead of just one.

Version 1.2, 2015-08-05

  • Add -p option for 'private mode', this won’t display the site name in the fold.

Version 1.1, 2015-02-27

There are many new options, features, and improvements. With thanks to yggdr for some patches; the most important changes are:

  • cm=blowfish has been discovered to be insecure; warn for this, and use cm=blowfish2.

  • Use ~/.pwbunny/passwords.pwbunny as the default file; ./passwords.pwbunny is used if it exists.

  • pwbunny.vim is now used from /usr/share/pwbunny/pwbunny.vim if ./pwbunny.vim doesn’t exist.

Version 1.0, 2014-05-10

  • Initial release.



  • PwbunnyMakePassword()
    Generate a random password (mapped to <Leader>p).

  • PwbunnyAddEntry()
    Add a new entry (mapped to <Leader>a).

  • PwbunnyGetSite()
    Get title/sitename of the entry under the cursor.

  • PwbunnyGetUser()
    Get username of the entry under the cursor.

  • PwbunnyGetPassword()
    Get password of the entry under the cursor.

  • PwbunnyGetLine(n)
    Get line number n of the entry under the cursor.

  • PwbunnyCopyPassword()
    Copy the password of the entry under the cursor (mapped to <Leader>c).

  • PwbunnyCopyUserAndPassword() Copy the username of the entry under the cursor, and after a while go ahead and copy the password (mapped to <Leader>u).

  • PwbunnyGetEntries()
    Get a list of all entries as [start, end].

  • PwbunnySort()
    Sort all entries (mapped to <Leader>s).

  • PwbunnyEmptyClipboard()
    Clear the clipboard.

  • PwbunnyCopyToClipboard(str)
    Copy str to the clipboard.

  • PwbunnyGetClipboard()
    Get contents of clipboard.

  • PwbunnyOpen()
    Detect is the correct password was entered.

  • PwbunnyFindCopyClose(name)
    Find an entry by name, copy it to the clipboard, and exit.

  • PwbunnyGoto(site)
    Try to open site in a web browser (this uses gx).

  • PwbunnyEstimatePassword(site, user, password)
    Estimate password strength (mapped to <Leader>e).

  • PwbunnyEstimateAllPasswords()
    Estimate password strength of all passwords (mapped to <Leader>E).

  • PwbunnySetPrivate()
    Set ‘private mode’. The names of the sites isn’t displayed in the fold text.


  • vim-safe; seems less mature, but has a different approach on some things; may be of interest.