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Marcin Kasperski > Passwd-Keyring-PWSafe3-0.2003 > Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3



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Module Version: 0.2003   Source   Latest Release: Passwd-Keyring-PWSafe3-0.61


Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3 - Password storage based on Password Safe encrypted files


Version 0.2003


Password Safe implementation of Passwd::Keyring. Passwords are stored in the Password Safe ( encrypted file.

This module does not require Password Safe to be installed, and can be used as generic "store many passwords in file encrypted with single master password" storage. Password Safe GUI, if installed, may help the user to review, modify, or delete saved passwords.

Note: actual handling of Password Safe format is based on Crypt::PWSafe3 module. Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3 just wraps it into the interface compatible with other Passwd::Keyring backends.

    use Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3;

    my $keyring = Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3->new(
         app=>"blahblah scraper",
         group=>"Johnny web scrapers",
         file=>"/home/joe/secrets.pwsafe3",        # HOME / passwd-keyring.pwsafe3 by default
         master_password=>"very secret password",  # Or callback. See ->new docs below

    my $username = "John";  # or get from .ini, or from .argv...

    my $password = $keyring->get_password($username, "");
    unless( $password ) {
        $password = <somehow interactively prompt for password>;

        # securely save password for future use
        $keyring->set_password($username, $password, "");

    login_somewhere_using($username, $password);
    if( password_was_wrong ) {
        $keyring->clear_password($username, "");

Note: see Passwd::Keyring::Auto::KeyringAPI for detailed comments on keyring method semantics (this document is installed with Passwd::Keyring::Auto package).


Underlying module (Crypt::PWSafe3) in fact rewrites the whole file on every save (with the complete password list as read on init). This means that any attempts to use the file paralelly from a few programs, or from a few objects within one program, are doomed to cause lost updates. Also, all passwords from the file are kept in (unprotected) memory while keyring object is active. Therefore, it is recommended to use separate .psafe3 file for Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3, not mixing it with possibly used normal Password Safe database, and to keep keyring object for a short time only, especially if modifications happen.

There are some limitations in Crypt::PWSafe3 handling of Password Safe format. Passwords are read and saved properly and it is possible to alternate using them from perl, and via Password Safe GUI, but some less important aspects of the format, like password expiraton policy, may be ignored. Refer to Crypt::PWSafe3 docs for more details.


Group name is mapped to Password Safe folder.

Realm is mapped as password title.

Username and password are ... well, used as username and password.


new(app=>'app name', group=>'passwords folder', file=>'pwsafe3 file', master_password=>'secret or callback', lazy_save=>1)

Initializes the processing. Croaks if Crypt::PWSafe3 is not installed or master password is invalid. May create password file if it is missing.

Handled named parameters:

- app - symbolic application name (used in password notes)

- group - name for the password group (used as folder name)

- file - location of .pwsafe3 file. If not given, passwd-keyring.pwsafe3 in user home directory is used. Will be created if does not exist. Note: absolute path is required, relative paths are very error prone.

- master_password - password required to unlock the file. Can be specified as string, or as callback returning a string (usually some way of interactively asking user for the password). The callback gets two parameters: app and file.

  If this param is missing, module will prompt interactively for this
  password using console prompt.

- lazy_save - if given, asks not to save the file after every change (saving is fairly time consuming), but only when $keyring->save is called or when keyring is destroyed.

Note: it of course does not make much sense to keep app passwords in encrypted storage if master password is saved in plain text. The module most natural usage is to interactively ask for master password (and use it to protect noticeable number of application-specific passwords).

set_password(username, password, realm)

Sets (stores) password identified by given realm for given user

get_password($user_name, $realm)

Reads previously stored password for given user in given app. If such password can not be found, returns undef.

clear_password($user_name, $realm)

Removes given password (if present)


Saves unsaved changes, if any are present.

Important only when lazy_save was given in constructor.


Returns info, whether this keyring actually saves passwords persistently.

(true in this case)


Marcin Kasperski


Please report any bugs or feature requests to issue tracker at


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3

You can also look for information at:

Source code is tracked at:


Copyright 2012 Marcin Kasperski.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See for more information.

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