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pwsafe - Man Page

commandline password database utility compatible with Counterpane's Passwordsafe


pwsafe [options] command [arg]


pwsafe manipulates Counterpane Passwordsafe username/password databases.

It is compatible with Counterpane Passwordsafe 1.9.x and 2.0 databases.


pwsafe accepts the following commands:


Create a new database.


Export database as text.


Merge DATABASE_FILE into database. Common entries are merged interactively.


Change the database's passphrase.


List all [matching] entries in database. If -u or -p is given then REGEX must match only one entry, and only the requested field(s) are emitted.

-a,  --add[=NAME]

Add an entry to database.

-e,  --edit=REGEX

Edit an entry.


Delete an entry from database.

If no command is given, an interactive mode is entered.


pwsafe accepts the following options:

-f,  --file=DATABASE_FILE

Specify the database to manipulate. Default is $HOME/.pwsafe.dat


Specify the database's version. Default is 2.

-I,  --case

REGEX is case-sensative. Any uppercase character in REGEX implies --case.


Show login and notes in list output.

-u,  --username

Show username of listed account(s).

-p,  --password

Show password of listed accounts(s).

-E,  --echo

Force echo'ing of entry to stdout. This is selected by default if $DISPLAY is not set.

-o,  --output=FILE

Redirect username and password output to FILE. Implies --echo.

-x,  --xclip

Force copying of username and password to X clipboard. This is selected by default if $DISPLAY is set.

-d,  --display=XDISPLAY

Override $DISPLAY. Implies --xclip.

-s,  --selection={Primary,Secondary,Clipboard,Both}

Select the X selection effected. Default is Both primary and clipboard. Implies --xclip.

-G,  --ignore=NAME@HOST

Add NAME to windows or hosts that do not receive the selection. If just NAME is given it matches any host, and if just @HOST is given it matches any name.

-v,  --verbose

Print more information.

-q,  --quiet

Print less information. In fact, print only exactly what was requested.

-h,  --help

Show summary of options.

-V,  --version

Show version of program.



Default database file. If this is a relative path it is assumed to be relative to $HOME. Defaults to ".pwsafe.dat". Overridden by -f.


Default user. Defaults to $USER or $LOGNAME.


Overrides built-in --ignore list. --ignore overrides. Format is a list of --ignore arguments, seperated by colons (':').


Used to locate the default database "~/.pwsafe.dat" and default RANDFILE "~/.rnd".


Used to locate the random number generator entropy pool file. Defaults to "$HOME/.rnd".



The password database.


Backup of database.


Random number generator's entropy pool.


Use a good password for your database.

Don't use pwsafe over telnet or from untrusted terminals.

To seed RANDFILE decently, do something like
  md5sum /var/log/* >~/.rnd


For those who can't read the rest of this file:

Create $HOME/.pwsafe.dat.

pwsafe --createdb

Add an entry named 'test'.

pwsafe -a test

Copy username and password of 'test' to console or X clipboard & primary selection.

pwsafe -up test

Upgrade a version passwordsafe version 1.7 database to version 2.0 (we do this by merging it with itself, but specifying version 2 output)

pwsafe --mergedb $HOME/.pwsafe.dat --dbversion 2


Nicolas S. Dade <ndade@nsd.dyndns.org>.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to <ndade@nsd.dyndns.org>.

See Also

http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/, http://www.counterpane.com/


0.2.0 Nicolas S. Dade <ndade@nsd.dyndns.org>