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A password store for password creation and retrieval


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Trocla provides you a simple way to create and store (random) passwords on a central server, which can be retrieved by other applications. An example for such an application is puppet and trocla can help you to not store any plaintext or hashed passwords in your manifests by keeping these passwords only on your puppetmaster.

Furthermore it provides you a simple cli that helps you to modify the password storage from the cli.

Trocla does not only create and/or store a plain password, it is also able to generate (and store) any kind of hashed passwords based on the plain password. As long as the plain password is preset, trocla is able to generate any kind of hashed passwords through an easy extendible plugin system.

It is not necessary to store the plain password on the server, you can also just feed trocla with the hashed password and use that in your other tools. A common example for that is that you let puppet retrieve (and hence create) a salted sha512 password for a user. This will then store the salted sha512 of a random password AND the plain text password in trocla. Later you can retrieve (by deleting) the plain password and send it to the user. Puppet will still simply retrieve the hashed password that is stored in trocla, while the plain password is not anymore stored on the server.

Be default trocla uses moneta to store the passwords and can use any kind of key/value based storage supported by moneta for trocla. By default it uses a simple yaml file. However, since version 0.2.0 trocla also supports a pluggable storage backend which allows you to write your custom backend. See more about stores below.

Trocla can also be integrated into Hiera by using ZeroPointEnergy's hiera-backend.



Assuming that we have an empty trocla storage.

trocla create user1 plain

This will create (if not already stored in trocla) a random password and store its plain text under key user1. The password will also be returned by trocla.

trocla create user2 mysql

This will create a random password and store its plain and mysql-style hashed sha1 password in trocla. The hashed password is returned.

trocla create user1 mysql

This will take the already stored plain text password of key user1 and generate and store the mysql-style hashed sha1 password.

It is possible that certain hash formats require additional options. For example the pgsql hash requires also the user to create the md5 hash for the password. You can pass these additional requirements as yaml-based strings to the format:

trocla create user1 pgsql 'username: user1'

This will create a pgsql password hash using the username user1.

Valid global options are:

  • length: int - Define any lenght that a newly created password should have. Default: 16 - or whatever you define in your global settings.
  • charset: (default|alphanumeric|shellsafe) - Which set of chars should be used for a random password? Default: default - or whatever you define in your global settings.
  • profiles: a profile name or an array of profiles matching a profile_name in your configuration. Learn more about profiles below.
  • random: boolean - Whether we allow creation of random passwords or we expect a password to be preset. Default: true - or whatever you define in your global settings.
  • expires: An integer indicating the amount of seconds a value (e.g. password) is available. After expiration a value will not be available anymore and trying to get this key will return no value (nil). Meaning that calling create after expiration, would create a new password automatically. There is more about expiration in the storage backends section.


trocla create some_shellsafe_password plain 'charset: shellsafe'
trocla create another_alphanumeric_20_char_password plain "charset: alphanumeric
length: 20"


Get simply returns a stored password. It will not create a new password.

Assuming that we are still working with the same storage

trocla get user2 plain

will return the plain text password of the key user2.

trocla get user3 plain

This will return nothing, as no password with this format have been stored so far.


trocla set user3 plain

This will ask you for a password and set it under the appropriate key/format. We expect a plain password to be entered and will format the password with the selected format before storing it.

trocla set --password mysupersecretpassword user4 plain

This will take the password from the cli without asking you.

trocla set user5 mysql -p mysuperdbpassword

This will store a mysql sha1 hash for the key user5, without storing any kind of plain text password. If you like trocla not to format a password, as you are passing in an already formatted password (like the sha512 hash), then you must use --no-format to skip formatting. Like:

trocla set user5 sha512crypt --no-format -p '$6$1234$xxxx....'

You can also pipe in a password:

echo -n foo | trocla set user6 plain -p

or a file

cat some_file | trocla set user6 plain -p
trocla set user6 plain -p < some_file


trocla reset user1 md5crypt

This will recreate the salted md5 shadow-style hash. However, it will not create a new plain text passwords. Hence, this is mainly usefull to create new hashed passwords based on new salts.

If the plain password of a key is resetted, every already hashed password is deleted as well, as the hashes wouldn't match anymore the plain text password.


trocla delete user1 plain

This will delete the plain password of the key user1 and return it.


trocla formats

This will list all available and supported formats.


If you don't feed trocla initially with a hash and/or delete the generated plain text passwords trocla will likely create a lot of plain text passwords and store them on your machine/server. This is by intend and is all about which problems (mainly passwords in configuration management manifests) trocla tries to address. It is possible to store all passwords encrypted in the specific backend. See backend encryption for more information, however be aware that the key must always also reside on the trocla node. So it mainly makes sense if you store them on a remote backend like a central database server.


Most formats are straight forward to use. Some formats require some additional options to work properly. These are documented here:


Password hashes for PostgreSQL servers. Requires the option username to be set to the username to which the password will be assigned.


This format takes a set of additional options. Required are:

subject: A subject for the target certificate. E.g. /C=ZZ/O=Trocla Inc./CN=test/
CN: The CN of the the target certificate. E.g. 'This is my self-signed certificate which doubles as CA'

Additional options are:

ca                The trocla key of CA (imported into or generated within trocla) that
                  will be used to sign that certificate.
become_ca         Whether the certificate should become a CA or not. Default: false,
                  to enable set it to true.
hash              Hash to be used. Default sha2
keysize           Keysize for the new key. Default is: 4096
serial            Serial to be used, default is selecting a random one.
days              How many days should the certificate be valid. Default 365
C                 instead within the subject string
ST                instead within the subject string
L                 instead within the subject string
O                 instead within the subject string
OU                instead within the subject string
emailAddress      instead within the subject string
altnames          An array of subjectAltNames. By default for non CA certificates we
                  ensure that the CN ends up here as well. If you don't want that.
                  You need to pass an empty array.
name_constraints  An array of domains that are added as permitted x509 NameConstraint.
                  By default, we do not add any contraint, meaning all domains are
                  signable by the CA, as soon as we have one item in the list, only
                  DNS entries matching this list are allowed. Be aware, that older
                  openssl versions have a bug with [leading dots]( for name
                  constraints. So using them might not work everywhere as expected.


Simply build and install the gem.


Trocla can be configured in /etc/troclarc.yaml and in ~/.troclarc.yaml. A sample configuration file can be found in lib/trocla/default_config.yaml. By default trocla configures moneta to store all data in /tmp/trocla.yaml


It is possible to define profiles within the configuration file. The idea behind profiles are to make it easy to group together certain options for automatic password generation.

Trocla ships with a default set of profiles, which are part of the lib/trocla/default_config.yaml configuration file. It is possible to override the existing profiles within your own configuration file, as well as adding more. Note that the profiles part of the configuration file is merged together and your configuration file has precedence.

The profiles part in the config is a hash where each entry consist of a name (key) and a hash of options (value).

Profiles make it especially easy to define a preset of options for SSL certificates as you will only need to set the certificate specific options, while global options such as C, O or OU can be preset within the profile.

Profiles are used by setting the profiles option to a name of the pre-configured profiles, when passing options to the password option. On the cli this looks like:

trocla create foo plain 'profiles: rootpw'

It is possible to pass mutliple profiles as an array, while the order will also reflect the precedence of the options.

Also it is possible to set a default profiles option in the options part of the configuration file.

Storage backends

Trocla has a pluggable storage backend, which allows you to choose the way that values are stored (persistently). Such a store is a simple class that implements Trocla::Store and at the moment there are the following store implementations:

  • Moneta - the default store using moneta to delegate storing the values
  • Memory - simple inmemory backend. Mainly used for testing.

The backend is chosen based on the store configuration option. If it is a symbol, we expect it to be a store that we ship with trocla. Otherwise, we assume it to be a fully qualified ruby class name, that inherits from Trocla::Store. If trocla should load an additional library to be able to find your custom store class, you can set store_require to whatever should be passed to a ruby require statement.

Store backends can be configured through the store_options configuration.


We expect storage backends to implement support for the expires option, so that keys expire after the passed amount of seconds. Furthermore a storage backend needs to implement the behaviour described by the rspec shared_example 'store_validation' section 'expiration'. Mainly:

  • Expiration is always for all formats per key.
  • Adding, deleting or updating a format will keep the existing expiration, but reset the planned expiration.
  • While setting a new plain format will not only erase all other formats, but also erase/reset any expires.
  • Setting a value with an expires option of 0 or false, will remove any existent expiration.

New backends should be tested using the provided shared example.

Moneta backends

Trocla uses moneta as its default storage backend and hence can store your passwords in any of moneta's supported backends. By default it uses the yaml backend, which is configured as followed:

  adapter: :YAML
    :file: '/tmp/trocla.yaml'

In environments with multiple Puppet masters using an existing DB cluster might make sense. The configured user needs to be granted at least SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and CREATE permissions on your database:

  adapter: :Sequel
    :db: 'mysql://'
    :user: 'trocla'
    :password: '***'
    :database: 'trocladb'
    :table: 'trocla'

These examples are by no way complete, moneta has much more to offer. Please have a look at moneta's documentation for further information.

Backend encryption

By default trocla does not encrypt anything it stores. You might want to let Trocla encrypt all your passwords, at the moment the only supported way is SSL. Given that often trocla's store is on the same system at it's being used, there might be little sense to encrypt everything while the encryption keys are on the same system. However, if you are for example using an existing DB cluster using backend encryption you won't store any plaintext passwords within the database system.

Backend SSL encryption

To enable SSL encryption (e.g. by using your puppet masters SSL keys), you need to set the following configuration options:

encryption: :ssl
    :private_key: '/var/lib/puppet/ssl/private_keys/trocla.pem'
    :public_key: '/var/lib/puppet/ssl/public_keys/trocla.pem'

Update & Changes

to 0.2.0

  1. New feature profiles: Introduce profiles to make it easy to have a default set of properties. See the profiles section for more information.
  2. New feature expiration: Make it possible that keys can have an expiration. See the expiration section for more information.
  3. Increase default password length to 16.
  4. Add a console safe password charset. It should provide a subset of chars that are easier to type on a physical keyboard.
  5. Fix a bug with encryptions while deleting all formats.
  6. Introduce pluggable stores, so in the future we are able to talk to different backends and not only moneta. For testing and inspiration a simple in memory storage backend was added.
  7. CHANGE: moneta's configuration for adapter & adapter_options now live under store_options in the configuration file. Till 0.3.0 old configuration entries will still be accepted.
  8. CHANGE: ssl_options is now known as encryption_options. Till 0.3.0 old configuration entries will still be accepted.
  9. Improve randomness when creating a serial number.
  10. Add a new charset: hexadecimal
  11. Add support for name constraints within the x509 format
  12. Clarify documentation of the set action, as well as introduce --no-format for the set action.

to 0.1.3

  1. CHANGE: Self signed certificates are no longer CAs by default, actually they have never been due to a bug. If you want that a certificate is also a CA, you must pass become_ca: true to the options hash. But this makes it actually possible, that you can even have certificate chains. Thanks for initial hint to Adrien Bréfort
  2. Default keysize is now 4096
  3. SECURITY: Do not increment serial, rather choose a random one.
  4. Fixing setting of altnames, was not possible due to bug, till now.
  5. Add extended tests for the x509 format, that describe all the internal specialities and should give an idea how it can be used.
  6. Add cli option to list all formats

to 0.1.1

  1. fix storing data longer that public Keysize -11. Thanks Timo Goebel
  2. add a numeric only charset. Thanks Jonas Genannt
  3. fix reading key expire time. Thanks asquelt

to 0.1.0

  1. Supporting encryption of the backends. Many thanks to Thomas Gelf
  2. Adding a windows safe password charset

to 0.0.12

  1. change from sha1 signature for the x509 format to sha2
  2. Fix an issue where shellsafe characters might have already been initialized with shell-unsafe characters. Plz review any shell-safe character passwords regarding this problem. See the fix for more information. Thanks asquelt for the fix.

to 0.0.8

  1. be sure to update as well the moneta gem, trocla now uses the official moneta releases and supports current avaiable versions.
  2. Options for moneta's backends have changed. For example, if you are using the yaml-backend you will likely need to change the adapter option :path: to :file: to match moneta's new API.
  3. IMPORTANT: If you are using the yaml backend you need to migrate the current data before using the new trocla version! You can migrate the datastore by using the following two sed commands: sed -i 's/^\s\{3\}/ /' /PATH/TO/trocla_data.yaml && sed -i '/^\s\{2\}value\:/d' /PATH/TO/trocla_data.yaml.
  4. SECURITY: Previous versions of trocla used quite a simple random generator. Especially in combination with the puppet fqdn_rand function, you likely have very predictable random passwords and I recommend you to regenerate all randomly generated passwords! Now!
  5. We now support reading passwords from files, which means that you can now also easily add multi-line passwords. Have a look at the documentation above.

Contributing to trocla

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it
  • Fork the project
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.


Copyright (c) 2011-2015 mh. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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