created_at2022-06-01 07:11:44.274011
updated_at2024-05-15 18:56:24.237883
descriptionA password manager for the command line
Anssi Piirainen (anssip)





A password manager CLI using Keepass as the storage backend. In addition to passwords, it supports authenticator functionality with Timed One Time Passwords (TOTP), secure saving and managing of payment cards and secure notes.

Passlane uses the Keepass encrypted file format for storing the data.

Passlane is written in Rust.


  • Keepass storage format which allows you to use the vault with other Keepass compatible applications
    • Supports KDB, KDBX3 and KDBX4 file formats
    • The keepass storage file can be optionally secured using a key file to provide additional protection
  • Generate and save passwords
  • Save and view payment card information
  • Save and view secure notes
  • Authenticator functionality with TOTP
  • Import passwords from CSV files
  • Export vault contents to CSV files

Table of contents


  1. Download the latest release
  2. Unpack the archive
  3. Place the unarchived binary passlane to your $PATH

To compile from sources

  1. Install rust development environment: rustup
  2. Clone this repo
  3. Run build: cargo build --release
  4. Add the built passlane binary to your $PATH


Run with nix - following creates a new password:

nix run github:anssip/passlane

See below for more information on how to use the CLI.


First time setup

When you run Passlane for the first time, it will create a new vault file at ~/.passlane/store.kdbx. This is a Keepass compatible file that stores all your passwords, payment cards, and secure notes. You will be asked to enter a master password that will be used to encrypt the vault contents. You can also store the master password in your computer's keychain to avoid typing it every time, see below for more info.

You can also move the vault file to the cloud allowing access from all your devices. See below for more info.

Keypass key file

In addition to the master password, you can use a key file to provide additional protection for the vault file. At this time, Passlane cannot be used to create a key file, but you can create one with KeepassXC or other Keepass compatible app. Once you have the file, configure the location of this file in the .keyfile_path file in the ~/.passlane/ directory.

Locking and unlocking the vault

Use the unlock command to store the master password in your computer's keychain. This way you don't have to enter the master password every time you access your passwords and other vault contents. On Macs you can then use biometric authentication to gain access to the keychain and further to the vault without typing any passwords.

passlane unlock

You can later remove the master password from the keychain with the lock command.

passlane lock

To get help on the available commands:

$  passlane -h
A password manager using Keepass as the storage backend.

Usage: passlane [COMMAND]

  add     Adds an item to the vault. Without arguments adds a new credential, use -p to add a payment card and -n to add a secure note.
  csv     Imports credentials from a CSV file.
  delete  Deletes one or more entries.
  show    Shows one or more entries.
  lock    Lock the vaults to prevent all access
  unlock  Opens the vaults and grants access to the entries
  export  Exports the vault contents to a CSV file.
  help    Print this message or the help of the given subcommand(s)

  -h, --help  Print help

Generating and saving passwords

To generate a new password without saving it. The generated password value is also copied to the clipboard.


To save new credentials by copying the password from clipboard:

passlane add -c --clipboard

To generate a new password and save credentials with one command:

passlane add -c -g

Using saved credentials

You can search and show saved credentials with regular expressions

passlane show <regexp>

Run passlane show --> shows's password and also copies the value to the clipboard.

If the search finds more than one matches:

$ passlane show
Found 9 matches:
|   | Service                        | Username/email                     |
| 0 |    |                  |
| 1 |    |                   |
| 2 |    |                        |
| 3 |    |               |
To copy one of these passwords to clipboard, please enter a row number from
the table above, or press q to exit: 3
Password from index 3 copied to clipboard!

Payment cards

To list all your saved payment cards.

passlane show -p

Found 1 payment cards:
|   | Name          | Color | Last 4 | Expiry |
| 0 | Personal Visa | White | 1234   | 9/25   |
Do you want to see the card details? (y/n) y

To save a payment card:

passlane add -p

You can delete a note with the delete command and the -n option.

Secure notes

You can also save and manage secure notes in Passlane. The contents of notes, the title and the note text itself, are all fully encrypted and only visible to you.

To add a secure note:

passlane add -n

To delete secure notes:

passlane delete -n

To show secure notes:

passlane show -n

Authenticator functionality

By default, Passlane stores the Timed One Time Passwords in a file named totp.json in the ~/.passlane/ directory. You can change the location by storing the file path in a text file called .totp_vault_path in the ~/.passlane/ directory. We recommend that you store the file in a separate location that is different from the main vault file. This way you gain the benefit of two-factor authentication. You don't want to store these eggs in the same basket.

Here is an example where teh totp vault file is stored in Dropbox:

~/.passlane > cat .totp_vault_path                                                                

The TOTP vault has a separate master password that you need to enter when you access the one time passwords. You can also store the master password in your computer's keychain to avoid typing it every time. Use the unlock command with the -o option for this purpose.

passlane unlock -o

To add a new one time password authentication entry:

passlane add -o

Use -o to show the one time passwords. Following lists all OTP entries in the vault:

passlane show -o

To look up by name of the issuer, use the following command:

passlane show -o heroku

the output will be:

Unlocking TOTP vault...
Found 1 matching OTP authorizers:

Code 447091 (also copied to clipboard). Press q to exit.
Next code in 23 seconds
Code 942344 (also copied to clipboard). Press q to exit.
Next code in 30 seconds

Import from CSV

You can import credentials from a CSV file. With this approach, you can easily migrate from less elegant and often expensive commercial services.

First, make sure that the CSV file has a header line (1st line) with the following column titles:

  • username
  • password
  • service

The service field is the URL or name of the service. When importing from Dashlane, the only necessary preparation is to rename url to service.

To export the credentials to a CSV file and import the file into Passlane:

passlane csv <path_to_csv_file>

Here are links to instructions for doing the CSV export:

Export to CSV

You can export all your vault contents to CSV files. The exported files can be imported to other password managers or to a spreadsheet program.

To export credentials to a file called creds.csv

passlane export creds.csv

To export payment cards to a file called cards.csv.

passlane export -p cards.csv

To export secure notes to a file called notes.csv

passlane export -n notes.csv

Syncing data to your devices

You can place the vault file to a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud Drive. This way you can access your passwords from all your devices. By default, Passlane assumes that the file is located at ~/.passlane/store.kdbx. You can change the location by storing the file path in a text file called .vault_path at the ~/.passlane/ directory.

For example, this shows how John has stored the path /Users/john/Dropbox/Stuff/store.kdbx to the .vault_path file:

➜  ~ cat ~/.passlane/.vault_path

Other Keepass compatible applications

There are several other Keepass compatible applications that you can use to access the vault file:

Commit count: 213

cargo fmt