Thursday, December 08, 2005

GUI Password Manager

If you are system administrator, or maybe network administrator, most of the times you will be sticking to multiple servers no matter they are windows, *nixes variants or cisco router. I bet no one will remember all the pasword/passphrase even you have very good memorizing power. A good password manager may ease your work, there are not much alternatives for *nixes system. Normally I use these two password managers that available in freebsd packages/ports - Gpasman and Figaro's Password Manger(fpm). I prefer Gpasman for it's simplicity and Figaro for it's scriptable ability.

Maybe the only thing you worry is that once your password storage files get stolen, you will be in trouble however since the file itself is encrypted, it may take times for the bad guy to reveal the password, and you should have enough time to change your password at that moment.

Below are the screenshots of these two passoword managers, you may spot the differences.

Gpasman offers simple gui,

And simple configuration of course.

Figaro offers simple gui too, however it allows you to define launcher,

Which is more flexible, and the if you click on the jump button, directly you execute the command and login to the servers.

Eventhough Gpasman is easier, however you have to copy the password to clipboard manually and insert to the program you use. One best part about these two programs is that when you plan to rebuild your system and lazy to reconfigure it again, just copy out the file .gpasman and .fpm directory, place it back to the user directory once you have the new system setup, so it is configured once, use it everywhere, that might help other system administrators who has same system login database as well.

I think Gpasman developement has stopped while figaro is still under active developement. However both are worth to at least give it a try.

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