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Browserpass - native messaging host

This is a host application for browserpass browser extension providing it access to your password store. The communication is handled through Native Messaging API.

Table of Contents

Installation

Install via package manager

The following operating systems provide a browserpass package that can be installed using a package manager:

Once the package is installed, refer to the section Configure browsers.

If your OS is not listed above, proceed with the manual installation steps below.

Install manually

Download the latest Github release, choose either the source code archive (if you want to compile the app yourself) or an archive for your operating system (it contains a pre-built binary).

All release files are signed with a PGP key that is available on maximbaz.com, keybase.io and various OpenPGP key servers. First, import the public key using any of these commands:

$ curl https://maximbaz.com/pgp_keys.asc | gpg --import
$ curl https://keybase.io/maximbaz/pgp_keys.asc | gpg --import
$ gpg --recv-keys EB4F9E5A60D32232BB52150C12C87A28FEAC6B20

To verify the signature of a given file, use $ gpg --verify <file>.asc.

It should report:

gpg: Signature made ...
gpg:                using RSA key 8053EB88879A68CB4873D32B011FDC52DA839335
gpg: Good signature from "Maxim Baz <...>"
gpg:                 aka ...
Primary key fingerprint: EB4F 9E5A 60D3 2232 BB52  150C 12C8 7A28 FEAC 6B20
     Subkey fingerprint: 8053 EB88 879A 68CB 4873  D32B 011F DC52 DA83 9335

Unpack the archive. If you decided to compile the application yourself, refer to the Building the app section on how to do so. Once complete, continue with the steps below.

If you are on macOS, first install the necessary tools: brew install coreutils gnu-sed.

If you are on FreeBSD, first install the GNU tools: pkg install coreutils gmake gsed'. Use gmake in place of make below.

If you downloaded a release archive with pre-compiled binary, follow these steps to install the app:

# IMPORTANT: replace XXXX with OS name depending on the archive you downloaded, e.g. "linux64"
make BIN=browserpass-XXXX configure      # Configure the hosts json files
sudo make BIN=browserpass-XXXX install   # Install the app

In addition, both configure and install targets respect PREFIX, DESTDIR parameters if you want to customize the install location (e.g. to install to a $HOME dir to avoid using sudo).

For example, if you are on macOS or FreeBSD, you probably want to install Browserpass in /usr/local/bin, therefore you need to run:

make BIN=browserpass-darwin64 PREFIX=/usr/local configure      # Configure the hosts json files
sudo make BIN=browserpass-darwin64 PREFIX=/usr/local install   # Install the app

If you compiled the app yourself, you can omit BIN parameter:

make configure      # Configure the hosts json files
sudo make install   # Install the app

Finally proceed to the Configure browsers section.

Install on Nix / NixOS

For a declarative NixOS installation, update your channel with sudo nix-channel --update, use the following to your /etc/nixos/configuration.nix and rebuild your system:

{ pkgs, ... }: {
  programs.browserpass.enable = true;
  environment.systemPackages = with pkgs; [
    # All of these browsers will work
    chromium firefox google-chrome vivaldi
    # firefox*-bin versions do *not* work with this. If you require such Firefox versions, use the stateful setup described below.
  ];
}

For a stateful Nix setup, update your channel, install Browserpass and link the necessary files with the Makefile (see Configure browsers section), but pass DESTDIR=~/.nix-profile:

$ nix-channel --update
$ nix-env -iA nixpkgs.browserpass # Or nix-env -iA nixos.browserpass on NixOS
$ DESTDIR=~/.nix-profile make -f ~/.nix-profile/lib/browserpass/Makefile <desired make goal>

Install on Windows

Download the latest Github release for windows64.

Run the installer, it will install all the necessary files in C:\Program Files\Browserpass and it will also configure browsers.

Install on Windows through WSL

If you want to use WSL instead

  1. Follow the installation steps for the WSL distribution you are using. There is no need to configure the browser as your browser does not run in WSL.
  2. Follow the then installation steps for installing on Windows.
  3. Create C:\Program Files\Browserpass\browserpass-wsl.bat with the following contents:
@echo off
bash -c "/usr/bin/browserpass-linux64 2>/dev/null"
  1. Edit the hosts json files (in our example C:\Program Files\Browserpass\browser-files\*-host.json) and replace browserpass-windows64.exe with browserpass-wsl.bat you've just created.

Remember to check Hints for configuring gpg on how to configure pinentry to unlock your PGP key.

Configure browsers

The following operating systems provide packages for certain browsers that can be installed using a package manager:

If you installed a distro package above, you are done!

If something went wrong, if there's no package for your OS and/or a browser of your choice, or for whatever reason you just don't want to use them, proceed with the steps below.

First, enter the directory with installed Browserpass, by default it is /usr/lib/browserpass/, but if you used PREFIX or DESTDIR when running make install, it might be different for you. For example, on macOS the directory is likely to be /usr/local/lib/browserpass/.

See below the list of available make goals to configure various browsers. Use gmake on FreeBSD in place of make.

It is recommended to use *-user make goals, as more people had luck with them. But if they don't work as expected, try other available goals.

If you provided PREFIX and/or DESTDIR while running make install, remember that you must provide the same parameters, for example make PREFIX=/usr/local hosts-chromium-user:

Command Description
make hosts-chromium-user Configure browserpass for Chromium browser, for the current user only
make hosts-firefox-user Configure browserpass for Firefox browser, for the current user only
make hosts-librewolf-user Configure browserpass for Librewolf browser, for the current user only
make hosts-chrome-user Configure browserpass for Google Chrome or Opera browsers, for the current user only
make hosts-brave-user Configure browserpass for Brave browser, for the current user only
make hosts-iridium-user Configure browserpass for Iridium browser, for the current user only
make hosts-vivaldi-user Configure browserpass for Vivaldi browser, for the current user only
make hosts-slimjet-user Configure browserpass for Slimjet browser, for the current user only
sudo make hosts-chromium Configure browserpass for Chromium browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-firefox Configure browserpass for Firefox browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-librewolf Configure browserpass for Librewolf browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-chrome Configure browserpass for Google Chrome or Opera browsers, system-wide
sudo make hosts-brave Configure browserpass for Brave browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-iridium Configure browserpass for Iridium browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-vivaldi Configure browserpass for Vivaldi browser, system-wide
sudo make hosts-slimjet Configure browserpass for Slimjet browser, system-wide

In addition, Chromium-based browsers support the following make goals:

Command Description
make policies-chromium-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Chromium browser, for the current user only
make policies-chrome-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Google Chrome browser, for the current user only
make policies-brave-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Brave browser, for the current user only
make policies-iridium-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Iridium browser, for the current user only
make policies-slimjet-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Slimjet browser, for the current user only
make policies-vivaldi-user Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Vivaldi browser, for the current user only
sudo make policies-chromium Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Chromium browser, system-wide
sudo make policies-chrome Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Google Chrome browser, system-wide
sudo make policies-brave Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Brave browser, system-wide
sudo make policies-iridium Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Iridium browser, system-wide
sudo make policies-slimjet Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Slimjet browser, system-wide
sudo make policies-vivaldi Automatically install browser extension from Web Store for Vivaldi browser, system-wide

Building the app

Build locally

Make sure you have the latest stable Go installed.

The following make goals are available (check Makefile for more details):

Command Description
make or make all Compile the app and run tests
make browserpass Compile the app for your OS
make browserpass-linux64 Compile the app for Linux 64-bit
make browserpass-windows64 Compile the app for Windows 64-bit
make browserpass-darwin64 Compile the app for Mac OS X 64-bit
make browserpass-openbsd64 Compile the app for OpenBSD 64-bit
make browserpass-freebsd64 Compile the app for FreeBSD 64-bit
make test Run tests

Build using Docker

First build the docker image using the following command in the project root:

docker build -t browserpass-native .

The entry point in the docker image is the make command. To run it:

docker run --rm -v "$(pwd)":/src browserpass-native

Specify make goal(s) as the last parameter, for example:

docker run --rm -v "$(pwd)":/src browserpass-native test

Refer to the list of available make goals above.

Updates

If you installed the app using a package manager for your OS, you will likely update it in the same way.

If you installed manually, repeat the steps in the Install manually section.

FAQ

Error: Unable to fetch and parse login fields

If you can see passwords, but unable to fill forms or copy credentials, you likely have issues with your gpg setup.

First things first, make sure that gpg and some GUI pinentry are installed.

  • on macOS many people succeeded with pinentry-mac
  • on Linux users report that pinentry-gnome3 does not work well with GNOME 3 and Firefox, use e.g. pinentry-gtk-2
  • on Windows WSL people succeded with pinentry-wsl-ps1

pinentry is the application that asks you your password to unlock PGP key when you for example use pass.

The selected pinentry must have GUI, console-based (like pinentry-tty or pinentry-curses) are not supported (unless you know what you are doing).

Ensure that gpg-agent process is actually running, if not you need to investigate how to enable it.

Finally configure a GUI pinentry program in ~/.gnupg/gpg-agent.conf:

pinentry-program /full/path/to/pinentry

You will need to restart gpg-agent using: $ gpgconf --kill gpg-agent

If Browserpass is unable to locate the proper gpg binary, try configuring a full path to your gpg in the browser extension settings or in .browserpass.json file in the root of your password store:

{
    "gpgPath": "/full/path/to/gpg"
}

Uninstallation

If you installed Browserpass via a package manager, uninstalling the package will hopefully do all the necessary cleanup.

For manual installations, uninstallation procedure basically consists of following the steps you ran in Makefile in reverse.

Contributing

  1. Fork the repo
  2. Create your feature branch
    • git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes
    • git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  4. Push the branch
    • git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Create a new pull request