A mozilla extension to store passwords and form logins in gnome-keyring
This replaces the default password manager in Firefox and Thunderbird with an implementation which uses Gnome Keyring. This is a centralised system-based password manager, which is more simple to handle than per-application management.
libgnome-keyring0 to be installed, for this extension to
work. When this extension is enabled, passwords stored in the default
password manager are not accessible. See migrating old passwords
for an efficient set of instructions to manually work around this.
You can change the keyring in which passwords are saved by creating or
editing the preference item
The default keyring is
mozilla. This is a per-profile setting, so if
you don't manually change it, all profiles will share the same keyring.
You can backup your passwords easily, separately from the rest of your
mozilla profile. Your keyrings are stored
~/.gnome2/keyrings - even
gnome-keyring 3.0-3.16 does this, though this may change in the future.
You can also take advantage of the more fine-tuned keyring management features of gnome-keyring, such as:
- No need to prompt for password, if you store in the
loginkeyring and the password for that keyring is the same as your login password.
- If the keyring is already open, don't need to prompt for a password each time you start Firefox or Thunderbird.
- You can explicitly re-lock the keyring when you feel you need to.
- In gnome-keyring 3, the keyring password prompt disables keyboard input to other windows, so you don't need to worry about accidentally typing it somewhere you shouldn't
Note: gnome-keyring stores the passwords encrypted on permanent storage but it keeps unlocked passwords in memory without encryption. As a result, programs with access to the memory space of gnome-keyring (such as debuggers and applications running as root) may be able to extract the passwords. The same applies to the default Firefox and Thunderbird implementations, so this extension should not be any less secure.
Non-working cases and workarounds
Passwords will not be saved or filled in if:
- the username or password element has attribute
- workaround: delete the attribute using the DOM inspector
- the username or password element is already filled in by the page
- see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=618698
- note: not a browser bug
- (mozilla bug): the page is XML+XSLT
Actually, these issues are all browser issues, and not directly fixable by this extension.
Migrating old passwords
Currently there is no migration facility. If you have many passwords in the default password manager, you'll need to manually transfer them to gnome-keyring:
- Create a TEMP profile, and install/enable this extension in it.
- In the TEMP profile, edit
extensions.gnome-keyring.keyringNameto whatever you eventually want to use.
- Restart the TEMP profile for setting changes to take effect.
- Open up the MAIN profile using
firefox -no-remote -P <MAIN name>so that you have both profiles open.
- Open up the password manager on the MAIN profile.
- For each website listed:
- Right-click on its entry and select "copy password".
- Visit the website in the TEMP profile and login again, which should trigger the "save password" prompt.
- Once you're done, you can close the TEMP profile and delete it.
- In the MAIN profile, install/enable this extension, and edit
extensions.gnome-keyring.keyringNameto whatever you chose before.
- Restart the MAIN profile for setting changes to take effect.
The old data of the default password manager remains untouched, so you
also need to delete that manually if you want to. This is done by going
to your profile folder, and deleting
After deleting, the data may still be forensically retrievable from your
disk, but if you were protecting it with a master password, this data
would still be be encrypted.
Deleting old data will also clear the master password for the default password manager. If you don't clear it, you'll still be asked for it when you choose to "show passwords", even if this extension is active.