Archive for February, 2013

Feb 26 7 A native KeePass app for Mac

Password storage is incredibly important to me. Since I began seeing friends and others get their identities and online lives taken away because of reusing and/or using weak passwords, I started taking password security extremely seriously.

When I chose the utility to use for this, I had a couple basic requirements.

  1. It had to be open source, for obvious reasons
  2. I had to be able to access my passwords on all my devices (iPad, iPhone, MacBook, workstation)

Things like 1Password and Lastpass didn’t fullfill the first requirement, although very handy because of browser integration and the mobile apps. So I ended up choosing a combination of the KeePass framework and Safari+Mac OS X keychain for my password storage needs, with KeePassX for my client, along with a mobile app, MiniKeePass, that syncs my KeePass database using Dropbox. As an added bonus, the iOS mobile app is open source as well.

I use KeePass as my primary password storage database, and Safari’s password saving feature for sites I access often, like my blog and reddit account.

I’m very happy with this solution, but unfortunately the Mac KeePassX currently has a very ugly, un-Mac-like user interface. I’ve been waiting for something which incorporates the native Mac user interface controls.

And, finally, today stumbled across this KeePass Mac client developed by Michael Starke from Hick’n’Hack Software. It seems like it’s in very early alpha, but it can load KeePass files and display their contents, so the basis functionality is almost done. It seems like it’s using the MiniKeePass framework library for its backend functionality. I cloned and ran it immediately as I’ve been wanting this ever since I started using KeePass for storing my passwords.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to be able to copy passwords yet, and there’s no detail dialog when you click on a password entry.

But since, as of writing, the last commit is 13 hours ago I’m sure this functionality will be added soon. I’m just so happy someone is making this. This definitely makes me want to learn Objective C properly so I can contribute to this project! If you know ObjC, you should definitely go add some pull requests!

 

Here’s a screenshot from the release I just built:

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 5.59.35 PM

Compare this to the current KeePass:

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 6.20.28 PM

Feb 23 4 Sync SSH config across computers with Dropbox

Here’s a little time-saving tip for Mac OS X/Linux users: if you work with lots of different Macs and servers daily, store your SSH configuration file in dropbox, and create a symbolic link to it so you can sync it across your computers.

With this, once I add a new machine to my SSH config, it’s immediately available across all of my computers, my workstation, laptop, work machine, etc. I’m terrible at remembering hostnames and IP-addresses, so this comes in handy as I acquire control over more and more servers.

Also, you can of course extend this method to sync other types of configuration files, like your git config or bash profile. Dropbox is a neat tool!

Step 1

Create a folder in your Dropbox to store files like these.

mkdir ~/Dropbox/configs

Step 2

Move your ssh config to this folder. I just call it ssh-config.txt instead of simply config for easier access and as to not mix it up with other configuration files.

mv ~/.ssh/config ~/Dropbox/configs/ssh-config.txt

Step 3

Create a symbolic link to the new configuration file.

ln -s ~/Dropbox/configs/ssh-config.txt ~/.ssh/config