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This document provides a broad overview over the features and use-cases gopass supports.

Standard Features

Data Organization

Before you start using gopass, you should know a little bit about how it stores your data. It's actually really simple! Each password (or secret) will live in its own file. And you can stick related passwords (or secrets) together in a directory. So, for example, if you had 3 laptops and wanted to store the root passwords for all 3, then your file system might look something like the following:

└── laptops
    ├── dell.gpg
    ├── hp.gpg
    └── macbook.gpg

With this file system, if you typed the gopass show command, it would report the following:

└── laptops
    ├── dell
    ├── hp
    └── macbook

In this example, the key for the MacBook is laptops/macbook.

gopass does not impose any specific layout for your data. Any key can contain any kind of data. Please note that sensitive data should not be put into the name of a secret.

If you plan to use the password store for website credentials or plan to use browserpass, you should follow the following pattern for storing passwords:

Initializing a Password Store

After installing gopass, the first thing you should do is initialize a password store. (If you are migrating to gopass from pass and already have a password store, you can skip this step.)

Note that this document uses the term password store to refer to a directory that is managed by gopass. This is entirely different from any OS-level credential store, your GPG key ring, or your SSH keys.

To initialize a password store, just do:

gopass init

This will prompt you for which GPG key you want to associate the store with. Then it will create a .password-store directory in your home directory.

If you don't want gopass to use this default directory, you can instead initialize a password store with:

gopass init --path /custom/path/to/password/store

If you don't want gopass to prompt you for the GPG key to use, you can specify it inline. For example, this might be useful if you have a huge number of GPG keys on the system or if you are initializing a password store from a script. You can do this in three different ways:

gopass init # By specifying the email address associated with the GPG key
gopass init A3683834 # By specifying the 8 character ID found by typing "gpg --list-keys" and looking at the "pub" line
gopass init 1E52C1335AC1F4F4FE02F62AB5B44266A3683834 # By specifying the GPG key fingerprint found by typing "gpg --fingerprint" and removing all of the spaces

Cloning an Existing Password Store

If you already have an existing password store that exists in a Git repository, then use gitpass to clone it:

gopass clone

This runs git clone in the background. If you don't want gopass to use the default directory of "$HOME/.password-store", then you can specify an additional parameter:

gopass clone work # This will initialize the password store in the "$HOME/.password-store-work" directory

Please note that all cloned repositories must already have been initialized with gopass. (See the previous section for more details.)

Note too that unless you are already a recipient of the cloned repository, you must add a the destination's public GPG key as a recipient to the existing store.

Adding Secrets

Let's say you want to create an account.

Website User gopher

Type in a new secret

$ gopass insert
Enter secret for       # hidden on Linux / MacOS
Retype secret for      # hidden on Linux / MacOS
gopass: Encrypting for these recipients:
 - 0xB5B44266A3683834 - Gopher <>

Do you want to continue? [yn]: y

Generate a new secret

$ gopass generate
How long should the secret be? [20]:
gopass: Encrypting for these recipients:
 - 0xB5B44266A3683834 - Gopher <>

Do you want to continue? [yn]: y
The generated secret for is:
$ gopass generate 16    # length as parameter
gopass: Encrypting for these recipients:
 - 0xB5B44266A3683834 - Gopher <>

Do you want to continue? [yn]: y
The generated password for is:

The generate command will ask for any missing arguments, like the name of the secret or the length. By default the password is copied to clipboard. If you don't want the password to be copied, but displayed instead, use the -p flag to print it.

By default the password is copied to clipboard, but you can disable this using the AutoClip option, which, when set tofalse, will neither display, nor print the password. This is overridden by the -p or -c flags.

Edit a secret

$ gopass edit

The edit command uses the $EDITOR environment variable to start your preferred editor where you can easily edit multi-line content. vim will be the default if $EDITOR is not set.

Adding OTP Secrets

Note: Depending on your security needs, it may not behoove you to store your OTP secrets alongside your passwords! Look into Multiple Stores if you need things to be separate!

Typically sites will display a QR code containing a URL that starts with oauth://. This string contains information about generating your OTPs and can be directly added to your password file. For example:


Alternatively, you can use YAML (currently totp only):

totp: ABC123

Note: any values for totp: need to be base32 (32, not 64) encoded. Often sites will display the raw secret alongside the QR

Some sites will not directly show you the URL contained in the QR code. If this is the case, you can use something like zbar to extract the URL.

Both TOTP and HOTP are supported.

Listing existing secrets

You can list all entries of the store:

$ gopass
│   └── gopher
└── emails

If your terminal supports colors the output will use ANSI color codes to highlight directories and mounted sub stores. Mounted sub stores include the mount point and source directory. See below for more details on mounts and sub stores.

Show a secret

$ gopass


The default action of gopass is show, so the previous command is exactly the same as typing gopass show It also accepts the -c flag to copy the content of the secret directly to the clipboard.

Since it may be dangerous to always display the password, the safecontent setting may be set to true to allow one to display only the rest of the password entries by default and display the whole entry, with password, only when the -f flag is used.

Copy a secret to the clipboard

$ gopass -c

Copied to clipboard. Will clear in 45 seconds.

Removing a secret

$ gopass rm

rm will remove a secret from the store. Use -r to delete a whole folder. Please note that you can not remove a folder containing a mounted sub store. You have to unmount any mounted sub stores first.

Moving a secret

$ gopass mv emails/ emails/

Moving also works across different sub-stores.

Copying a secret

$ gopass cp emails/ emails/

Copying also works across different sub-stores.

Advanced Features


Like other popular open-source projects, gopass automatically pipe the output to $PAGER if it's longer than one terminal page. You can disable this behavior by unsetting $PAGER or gopass config nopager true.


Gopass offers as simple and intuitive way to sync one or many stores with their remotes. This will perform and git pull, push and import or export any missing GPG keys.

$ gopass sync

Desktop Notifications

Certain long running operations, like gopass sync or copy to clipboard will try to show desktop notifications [Linux only].

git auto-push and auto-pull

If you want gopass to always push changes in git to your default remote server (origin), enable auto sync:

$ gopass config autosync true

Check Passwords for Common Flaws

gopass can check your passwords for common flaws, like being too short or coming from a dictionary.

$ gopass audit
Detected weak secret for '': Password is too short

Check Passwords against leaked passwords

gopass can assist you in checking your passwords against those included in recent data breaches. You can either check against the HIBPv2 API (recommended) or download the dumps (v1 or v2) and perform the check fully offline.

Using the API

gopass audit hibp --api

Using the Dumps

First go to and download the dumps. Then unpack the 7-zip archives somewhere. Note that full path to those files and provide it to gopass --dumps flag.

$ gopass audit hibp --dumps /tmp/pwned-passwords-1.0.txt

Support for Binary Content

gopass provides secure and easy support for working with binary files through the gopass binary family of sub-commands. One can copy or move secret from or to the store. gopass will attempt to securely overwrite and remove any secret moved to the store.

# copy file "/some/file.jpg" to "some/secret.b64" in the store
$ gopass binary cp /some/file.jpg some/secret
# move file "/home/user/private.key" to "my/private.key.b64", removing the file on disk
# after the file has been encoded, stored and verified to be intact (SHA256)
$ gopass binary mv /home/user/private.key my/private.key
# Calculate the checksum of some asset
$ gopass binary sha256 my/private.key

Multiple Stores

gopass supports multi-stores that can be mounted over each other like file systems on Linux/UNIX systems. Mounting new stores can be done through gopass:

# Mount a new store
$ gopass mounts add test /tmp/password-store-test
# Show mounted stores
$ gopass mounts
# Unmount a store
$ gopass mounts remove test

You can initialize a new store using gopass init --store mount-point --path /path/to/store.

Where possible sub stores are supported transparently through the path to the secret. When specifying the name of a secret it's matched against any mounted sub stores and the given action is executed on this store.

Commands that don't accept an secret name, e.g. gopass recipients add or gopass init usually accept a --store parameter. Please check the help output of each command for more information, e.g. gopass help init or gopass recipients help add.

Commands that support the --store flag:

Command Example Description
gopass git push gopass git push --store=foo origin master Push all changes in the sub store foo to master
gopass git pull gopass git pull --store=foo origin master Pull all changes in the sub store foo from master
gopass git init gopass git init --store=foo Initialize git in the sub store foo
gopass init gopass init --store=foo Initialize and mount the new sub store foo
gopass recipients add gopass recipients add --store=foo GPGxID Add the new recipient GPGxID to the store foo
gopass recipients remove gopass recipients remove --store=foo GPGxID Remove the existing recipients GPGxID from the store foo
gopass config gopass config --store=foo autosync false Set the config flag autosync to false for the store foo

Directly edit structured secrets aka. YAML support

gopass supports directly editing structured secrets (simple key-value maps or YAML).

$ gopass generate -n foo/bar 12
The generated password for foo/bar is:
$ gopass insert foo/bar baz
Enter password for foo/bar/baz:
Retype password for foo/bar/baz:
$ gopass foo/bar baz
$ gopass foo/bar
baz: zab

Please note that gopass will try to leave your secret as is whenever possible, but as soon as you mutate the YAML content through gopass, i.e. gopass insert secret key, it will employ an YAML marshaler that may alter the order and escaping of your entries.

Edit the Config

gopass allows editing the config from the command-line. This is similar to how git handles config changes through the command-line. Any change will be written to the configured gopass config file.

$ gopass config
alwaystrust: false
askformore: false
autoimport: false
autopull: false
autopush: true
cliptimeout: 10
loadkeys: false
noconfirm: false
path: /home/user/.password-store

$ gopass config cliptimeout 60
$ gopass config cliptimeout

Managing Recipients

You can list, add and remove recipients from the command-line.

$ gopass recipients
└── 0xB5B44266A3683834 - Gopher <>

$ gopass recipients add 1ABB2C1A

$ gopass recipients
├── 0xB1C7DF661ABB2C1A - Someone <>
└── 0xB5B44266A3683834 - Gopher <>

$ gopass recipients remove 0xB5B44266A3683834

$ gopass recipients
└── 0xB1C7DF661ABB2C1A - Someone <>

Running gopass recipients will also try to load and save any missing GPG keys from and to the store.

The commands manipulating recipients, i.e. gopass recipients add and gopass recipients remove accept a --store flag that expects the name of a mount point to operate on this mounted sub store.

Recipient Integrity

gopass will try to warn you if the list of recipients is changed. The way that managing recipients works is that gopass maintains a recipient list in the git repository and obviously anyone with access to this repository can change the recipients used for any future changes. Thus it's important to maintain awareness whenever this file changes. In the past gopass relied onto the git history. This can be rewritten but would cause glaring errors on sync. Additionally gopass has the optional feature of client-side integrity checks. Enabling this feature will make gopass maintain a hashsum of the recipient list in the local configuration. It's transparently updated whenever the local users modifies the recipient list but if another team member - or an adversary - modifies this list gopass will display an error and ask you to verify and acknowledge these changes.

To enable this set check_recipient_hash to true.


To debug gopass, set the environment variable GOPASS_DEBUG to true.

Restricting the characters in generated passwords

To restrict the characters used in generated passwords set GOPASS_CHARACTER_SET to any non-empty string. Please keep in mind that this can considerably weaken the strength of generated passwords.

Using custom password generators

To use an external password generator set GOPASS_EXTERNAL_PWGEN to any valid executable with all required arguments. Please note that the command will be run as-is. Not parameters to control length or complexity can be passed. Any errors will be silently ignored and gopass will fall back to the internal password generator instead.

In-place updates to existing passwords

Running gopass [generate|insert] foo/bar on an existing entry foo/bar will only update the first line of the secret, leaving any trailing data in place.

Note: if the trailing data is marked as YAML (has a line with --- after the password line), invalid YAML will be removed!

Disabling Colors

Disabling colors is as simple as setting GOPASS_NOCOLOR to true.

Password Templates

With gopass you can create templates which are searched when executing gopass edit on a new secret. If the folder, or any parent folder, contains a file called .pass-template it's parsed as a Go template, executed with the name of the new secret and an auto-generated password and loaded into your $EDITOR.

This makes it easy to use templates for certain kind of secrets such as database passwords.


gopass jsonapi enables communication with gopass via JSON messages. This is particularly useful for browser plugins like gopassbridge running gopass as native app. More details can be found in docs/

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