Chrome OS: What about KeePass? [E]

Introduction

KeePass is a free open source tool that allows you to generate and manage passwords without an internet connection.

KeePass Professional on Windows 10
KeePass Professional on Windows 10 | Image: cyldx.com

Already using it on Windows or macOS and wondering if you can use it on Chrome OS?

Yes, that’s no problem! πŸ˜‰

I show you in this post how to install and use it. You can also synchronize your password database with your cloud storage, such as Google Drive. πŸ™‚

Important Notes

Notes for beginners: My posts usually contain some basics so that you can understand how to proceed. I partly repeat the basics in other posts, so you don’t have to jump back and forth all the time.

Here is the meaning of the abbreviations after the headings: [E] Everyone [A] Advanced [B] Beginner [P] Professional

If you still miss something, feel free to comment. The community will try to help you! πŸ™‚

Notes for professionals: My posts usually have the form of a knowledge database entry and should be equally suitable for beginners, advanced users, and professionals. Just pick out what you need right now. You can also find content specifically targeted to professionals. These are marked accordingly with [P] and other finger points.

Do you want to have more professional content on a topic? Add it to the comments πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer of liability: As always on this blog, I warn you that all changes to your system mentioned in this post are at your own risk! It is theoretically possible that there are system or application errors that could lead to data loss and further problems!

The confusion of versions of KeePass [A]

There are several versions, variants, and forks of KeePass.

I have had good experience with the fork KeePassXC, which I have been using on Windows for many years. It is also available for macOS and Linux.

I have had similar good experiences with KeePassDroid on my Android smartphones. Alternatives on iOS are, for example, Strongbox (Freemium) and KeePassium.

You see, you can use KeePass on all your devices and platforms, but what about Chrome OS?

I will now show you three alternatives and how to synchronize your passwords with your cloud storage automatically.

Using KeePassDroid as an Android app on Chrome OS [B]

The easiest way to use KeePass on Chrome OS is to install KeePassDroid from the Play Store.

Once this is done, you can find the KeePassDroid icon in the Chrome OS Launcher and launch it from there:

Finding KeePassDroid in Chrome OS Launcher and launching it from there
Image: cyldx.com

That is what the launched app looks like:

KeePassDroid as an Android app on Chrome OS
KeePassDroid as an Android app on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

Note: Sometimes, after Chrome OS updates, there are problems with this app. For example, I have had issues with the app crashing immediately after starting it or not being able to write to the database. However, these issues were resolved fairly quickly with further updates of the app.

After this note, I want to introduce you to what I think is the best and most stable version of KeePass on Chrome OS. It is also quite easy to install and set up on Chrome OS.

Using KeePassXC as a Linux application on Chrome OS [A]

The software sources of Debian Buster, the distribution of the Linux of Chrome OS, already include KeePassXC.

I’ve described how to enable the Linux of Chrome OS in this post on my blog and here how to install and use a graphical app store: link.

That makes it quite easy to find KeePassXC:

Searching KeePassXC in a graphical app store in the Linux of Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

Once you have opened the search result, you can now install the application with one click:

Installing KeePassXC via a graphical app store for the Linux of Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

Professionals can also do so via the terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y keepassxc

If you now restart your Chrome OS device and then start the Terminal or another Linux application, the KeePassXC icon should appear in the launcher in the Linux-Apps folder or by searching:

Image: cyldx.com

In terms of appearance and operation, the application hardly differs from the Windows and macOS versions:

KeePassXC as a Linux application on Chrome OS | Image: cyldx.com

In the next section, I show you where you can store your password database best and automatically synchronize it with your cloud storage.

Synchronizing your passwords automatically with Google Drive [A]

Overview

There are several ways to synchronize your files to a cloud storage on Chrome OS. For example, by using onboard tools like the Files app or Android apps like Autosync for Google Drive | OneDrive | Dropbox, FolderSync Pro etc. and Linux applications like insync or Seafile.

Here I’d like to limit myself to the Files app of Chrome OS and two Autosync variants, which I already introduced in the blog. You can transfer the procedure described here to other solutions. I will post something about these in due course.

With the files app [A]

You can synchronize the folders of your Google Drive with the Files app by right-clicking and marking them as “Available offline:”

Marking Google Drive files as "Available Offline" for automatic sync with the Files app
Image: cyldx.com

The contents will then automatically be synchronized in both directions.

With KeePassDroid, you can then find the synchronized folders here:

Opening a KeePass password database that is automatically synchronized with Google Drive via KeePassDroid on Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

If you place your password database there and open it from there, your changes will be synchronized as desired.

For KeePassXC you first have to share it with your Google Drive for the Linux of Chrome OS:

Sharing the Google Drive files with the Linux of Chrome OS using the Files app
Image: cyldx.com

Then you can access your files with the Linux application as follows:

Opening a KeePass password database automatically synchronized with Google Drive via KeePassXC in the Linux of Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

If you store your password database and open it from there, your changes are automatically synchronized as desired.

That is the easiest method, and it costs you nothing! πŸ˜‰

With Autosync for Google Drive for another Google account [A]

I do have a private and an “official” (G Suite) Google account.

My KeePass database lies in the Google Drive of my private account.

Although the Files app allows you to access shared folders, you can’t fully access them. You can’t mark them as “Available offline” for automatic synchronization without restrictions. That is because this is read-only access.

In other words: That doesn’t help us!

So what do you do if you have logged on to your Chrome OS device with a Google account that doesn’t have direct access to the password database?

You can use Autosync for Google Drive to log in to another account and synchronize files as described in this post: link.

Since the “Open File dialog” of KeePassDroid displays the same content as the Files app, you can access the files automatically synced with Autosync, including your database:

Opening a KeePass password database automatically synchronized with Google Drive via KeePassDroid on Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

For KeePassXC, you also need to share the folder with the Linux of Chrome OS in the same way as described in the previous section. Once this is done, you can use the application to access your files as follows:

Opening a KeePass password database automatically synchronized with Google Drive via KeePassXC in Linux mode on Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

With Autosync for OneDrive [A]

Autosync for OneDrive is a variant of Autosync that allows you to synchronize your OneDrive files on Chrome OS.

In this post, I have explained how: link.

You can access your KeePass database in the same way as with the Google Drive variant I described in the last section.

How to use KeePassXC on Chrome OS without installing it? [A]

That is possible with the help of providers who make applications available online on a platform. A good example is the provider rollApp.

rollApp currently offers you a selection of 340+ applications (as of June 2020), which you can use immediately in your browser with the usual range of functions without installation. One of them is KeePassXC:

KeePassXC launched online in the cloud via rollApp.com in Chrome browser on Chrome OS
Image: cyldx.com

You can save your KeePass database, e.g., in Google Drive, if you link it to your profile in the rollApp settings.

Cloud access to an unrestricted Windows 10 or macOS instance is also possible on Chrome OS if that is not enough for you. How this works with Windows, I have described in this post: Link and with macOS in this post: Link.

These services can sometimes be quite expensive. However, this is to get over, if you are a professional and don’t want to do without your favorite tools, which are not yet available on Chrome OS without restrictions. With KeePass, however, I don’t see these limitations.

Conclusion

You can use KeePass in a variety of ways on Chrome OS and automatically synchronize your passwords with your other devices via cloud storage!

So that’s one less reason not to switch to a Chrome OS device! :p

Have fun with it! πŸ™‚

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