From ArchWiki
< GNOME(Redirected from Gnome Keyring)

GNOME Keyring is "a collection of components in GNOME that store secrets, passwords, keys, certificates and make them available to applications."


gnome-keyring is a member of the gnome group is thus usually present on systems running GNOME. The package can otherwise be installed on its own. libsecret should also be installed to grant other applications access to your keyrings. Although libgnome-keyring is deprecated (and superseded by libsecret), it may still be required by certain applications.

The gnome-keyring-daemon is automatically started via a systemd user service upon logging in. It can also be started upon request via a socket.

Extra utilities related to GNOME Keyring include:

  • secret-tool — Access the GNOME Keyring (and any other service implementing the DBus Secret Service API) from the command line. || libsecret
  • lssecret — List all secret items using libsecret (e.g. GNOME Keyring). || lssecret-gitAUR

Manage using GUI

You can manage the contents of GNOME Keyring using Seahorse; install the seahorse package.

Passwords for keyrings (e.g., the default keyring, "Login") can be changed and even removed. See Create a new keyring and Update the keyring password in GNOME Help for more information.

Using the keyring

The PAM module initialises GNOME Keyring partially, unlocking the default login keyring in the process. The gnome-keyring-daemon is automatically started with a systemd user service.

PAM step

Note: To use automatic unlocking without automatic login, the password for the user account should be the same as the default keyring. See #Automatically change keyring password with user password.

When using a display manager, the keyring works out of the box for most cases. GDM, LightDM, LXDM, and SDDM already have the necessary PAM configuration. For a display manager that does not automatically unlock the keyring edit the appropriate file instead of /etc/pam.d/login as mentioned below.

When using console-based login, edit /etc/pam.d/login:

Add auth optional at the end of the auth section and session optional auto_start at the end of the session section.


auth       required
auth       requisite
auth       include      system-local-login
auth       optional
account    include      system-local-login
session    include      system-local-login
session    optional auto_start

SSH keys

gnome-keyring-daemon with the ssh component will start an SSH agent and automatically load all the keys in ~/.ssh/ that have corresponding .pub files. There is no way to remove these keys from the agent.

To list all loaded keys:

$ ssh-add -L

When you connect to a server that uses a loaded key with a password, a dialog will popup asking you for the passphrase. It has an option to automatically unlock the key when you log in. If you check this, you will not need to enter your passphrase again!

To permanently save the a passphrase in the keyring, use ssh-askpass from the seahorse package:

$ /usr/lib/seahorse/ssh-askpass my_key

To manually add an SSH key from another directory:

$ ssh-add ~/.private/id_rsa
Enter passphrase for ~/.private/id_rsa:
Note: You have to have the corresponding .pub file in the same directory as the private key (~/.ssh/ in the example). Also, make sure that the public key is the file name of the private key plus .pub (for example,

To disable all manually added keys:

$ ssh-add -D

Enable the keyring ssh component

The default systemd user service shipped with the keyring does not include the ssh component. For desktop environments using XDG Autostart, the component is started via /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop automatically. For others, ssh must be added to the --components option of the gnome-keyring-daemon command in the ExecStart line of the unit file.

See Systemd#Editing provided units for how to edit the keyring's systemd unit file.

You must also enable the gcr-ssh-agent.service user unit and point an environment variable to the auth socket:


Disable keyring daemon components

If you wish to run an alternative SSH agent (e.g. ssh-agent or gpg-agent), you need to disable the ssh component of GNOME Keyring. To do so in an account-local way, copy /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-ssh.desktop to ~/.config/autostart/ and then append the line Hidden=true to the copied file.

Next, check the user units gcr-ssh-agent.socket and its corresponding gcr-ssh-agent.service are disabled. Then log out.

Tips and tricks

Integration with applications

Flushing passphrases

$ gnome-keyring-daemon -r -d

This command starts gnome-keyring-daemon, shutting down previously running instances.

Git integration

The GNOME keyring is useful in conjunction with Git when you are pushing over HTTPS. The libsecret package needs to be installed for this functionality to be available.

Configure Git to use the libsecret helper:

$ git config --global credential.helper /usr/lib/git-core/git-credential-libsecret

The next time you run git push, you will be asked to unlock your keyring if it is not already unlocked.

GnuPG integration

Several applications which use GnuPG require a pinentry-program to be set. Set the following to use GNOME 3 pinentry for GNOME Keyring to manage passphrase prompts.

pinentry-program /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3

Another option is to force loopback for GPG which should allow the passphrase to be entered in the application.

Renaming a keyring

The display name for a keyring (i.e., the name that appears in Seahorse and from file) can be changed by changing the value of display-name in the unencrypted keyring file. Keyrings will usually be stored in ~/.local/share/keyrings/ with the .keyring file extension.

Automatically change keyring password with user password

Note: This only affects the default keyring.

Add password optional to the end of /etc/pam.d/passwd.


#password	required difok=2 minlen=8 dcredit=2 ocredit=2 retry=3
#password	required sha512 shadow use_authtok
password	required sha512 shadow nullok
password	optional

Launching gnome-keyring-daemon outside desktop environments (KDE, GNOME, XFCE, ...)

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: At least xinit and SDDM execute all scripts from /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/ and sway provides /etc/sway/config.d/50-systemd-user.conf so the problem is not being "outside desktop environments". If gnome-keyring requires XDG Autostart, the installation/configuration section should say so. (Discuss in Talk:GNOME/Keyring#Launching gnome-keyring-daemon outside desktop environments (KDE,_GNOME,_XFCE,_...))

If you are using sway, i3, or any window manager that does not execute

  • /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-keyring-*.desktop
  • /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/

your window manager needs to execute the following commands during window manager startup. The commands do not need to be executed in any specific order.

dbus-update-activation-environment DISPLAY XAUTHORITY WAYLAND_DISPLAY


dbus-update-activation-environment --all

This command passes environment variables from the window manager to session dbus. Without this, GUI prompts cannot be triggered over DBus. For example, this is required for seahorse password prompt.

This is required because session dbus is started before graphical environment is started. Thus, session dbus does not know about the graphical environment you are in. Someone or something has to teach session dbus about the graphical environment by passing environment variables describing the graphical environment to session dbus.

gnome-keyring-daemon --start --components=secrets

During login, PAM starts gnome-keyring-daemon --login which is responsible for keeping gnome-keyring unlocked with login password. If gnome-keyring-daemon --login is not connected to session dbus within a few minutes, gnome-keyring-daemon --login dies. If gnome-keyring-daemon --start ... is started against session dbus in a window manager, gnome-keyring-daemon --login is connected to session dbus. If your login session does not start gnome-keyring-daemon --start ... before gnome-keyring-daemon --login quits, you can also use any program that uses gnome-keyring or secret service API before gnome-keyring-daemon --login dies.


Passwords are not remembered

If you are prompted for a password after logging in and you find that your passwords are not saved, then you may need to create/set a default keyring. To do this using Seahorse (a.k.a. Passwords and Keys), see Create a new keyring and Change the default keyring in GNOME Help.

Resetting the keyring

You will need to change your login keyring password if you receive the following error message: "The password you use to login to your computer no longer matches that of your login keyring".

Alternatively, you can remove the login.keyring and user.keystore files from ~/.local/share/keyrings/. Be warned that this will permanently delete all saved keys. After removing the files, simply log out and log in again.

Unable to locate daemon control file

The following error may appear in the journal after logging in:

gkr-pam: unable to locate daemon control file

This message "can be safely ignored" if there are no other related issues [2].

No such secret collection at path: /

If you use a custom ~/.xinitrc and receive this error when trying to create a new keyring with Seahorse, this may be solved by adding the following line [3]

source /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/

Terminal gives the message "discover_other_daemon: 1"

This is caused by gnome-keyring-daemon being started for the second time. Since a systemd service is delivered together with the daemon, you do not need to start it another way. So make sure to remove the start command from your .zshenv, .bash_profile, .xinitrc, or similar. Alternatively you can disable the gnome-keyring-daemon.service and gnome-keyring-daemon.socket user units.

See also