KDE Wallet

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KDE Wallet Manager is a tool to manage passwords on the KDE Plasma system. Using the KWallet subsystem allows a user to keep its own secrets, but also allows a user to access passwords stored by every application that integrates with KWallet.

A wallet (in the KDE's terminology, sometimes called vault or keyring) is an encrypted volume protected by a user-defined password where user and/or software can store secrets (often, credentials when the user checked "Remember the account" in an application). Those vaults can be created and used manually by the user or created and used automatically in the background by some software that integrates with the wallet subsystem (e.g. mail applications or games). Vaults are often decrypted automatically at the user login using a PAM module (see below).


  • If you only need to have a wallet available for applications using it, it is suggested to use the default name (i.e. kdewallet) and the same password as the user (for PAM).
  • Wallets are are stored as encrypted files using the .kwl extension in the ~/.local/share/kwalletd directory by default.
Note: Since KDE Frameworks 5.97.0 KDE Wallet supports org.freedesktop.secrets DBus API and can now be used by libsecret for storing and retrieving passwords and other secrets using the Secret Service API.


KDE Wallet is often shipped with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The wallet subsystem can be manually installed with the kwallet5 package. The subsystem additionally depends on:

  • FUSE to mount the decrypted wallet to a directory in user-land. Specifically, it depends on the fuse2 package to provide the fusermount(1) command.
  • An encryption backend, used to actually store the wallet as a encrypted file. Several backends are supported, e.g. Gocryptfs with the gocryptfs package or EncFS with the encfs package.

Optionally install the kwalletmanager package for the wallet management tool. This tool can be used to graphically create and manage a KDE Wallet, e.g. with blowfish encryption and more settings not provided by the kcm-module.

Unlock KDE Wallet automatically on login

To unlock KDE Wallet automatically on login, install kwallet-pam for the PAM compatible module. The chosen KWallet password must be the same as the current user password.

  • kwallet-pam is not compatible with GnuPG keys, the KDE Wallet must use the standard blowfish encryption.
  • When using autologin, the wallet can only be unlocked if the autologin method saves the password. pam_autologin does, for example.
  • The wallet cannot be unlocked when using a fingerprint reader to login
  • The wallet must be named kdewallet (default name). It does not unlock any other wallet(s).
  • If using KDE, one may want to disable Close when last application stops using it in KDE Wallet settings to prevent the wallet from being closed after each usage (Wi-Fi-passphrase unlock, etc.).
  • It may be needed to remove the default created wallet first, thus removing all stored entries.
  • If the kwallet Migration Assistant asks for a password after every login, rename or delete the ~/.kde4/share/apps/kwallet folder.
Tip: An alternative is to use KWalletManager and set an empty Kwallet-password, thus preventing the need of entering a password to unlock a wallet. Simply do not enter a password on both fields in Change Password... This may however lead to unwanted (read/write) access to the user's wallet. Enabling Prompt when an application accesses a wallet under Access Control is highly recommended to prevent unwanted access to the wallet.

Configure PAM

The following lines must be present under their corresponding sections:

auth            optional        pam_kwallet5.so
session         optional        pam_kwallet5.so auto_start

Edit the PAM configuration corresponding to your situation:

  • For SDDM no further edits should be needed because the lines are already present in /etc/pam.d/sddm.
  • For LightDM no further edits should be needed because the lines are already present in /etc/pam.d/lightdm and /etc/pam.d/lightdm-autologin.
  • For GDM edit /etc/pam.d/gdm-password accordingly.
  • For greetd edit /etc/pam.d/greetd accordingly.
  • For unlocking on tty login (no display manager), edit /etc/pam.d/login accordingly. You will need to specify the force_run parameter.
auth            optional        pam_kwallet5.so
session         optional        pam_kwallet5.so auto_start force_run

auth       required     pam_securetty.so
auth       requisite    pam_nologin.so
auth       include      system-local-login
auth       optional     pam_kwallet5.so
account    include      system-local-login
session    include      system-local-login
session    optional     pam_kwallet5.so auto_start force_run

Using the KDE Wallet to store ssh key passphrases

The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.

Reason: Creating autostart entries is only necessary if ssh-add is unable to add the keys automatically. (Discuss in Talk:KDE Wallet)
Note: An SSH agent should be up and running.

Install ksshaskpass package.

Create an autostart .desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=ssh-add -q
Tip: By default, ssh-add(1) will only add the default keys ~/.ssh/id_rsa, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa, ~/.ssh/id_ecdsa_sk, ~/.ssh/id_ed25519, ~/.ssh/id_ed25519_sk, and ~/.ssh/id_dsa. Assuming you have different SSH keys named key1, key2, key3 in ~/.ssh/, you may add them automatically on login by passing them as arguments to ssh-add. E.g.:
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=ssh-add -q .ssh/key1 .ssh/key2 .ssh/key3

To use shell features like globbing, change the Exec= line to start the shell and execute the ssh-add command with it. For example, to add all private keys whose file names start with id to ssh-add using the extended globbing features of Zsh:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=zsh --extendedglob -c 'ssh-add -q ~/.ssh/id^*.pub < /dev/null'

You also have to set the SSH_ASKPASS environment variable to ksshaskpass and SSH_ASKPASS_REQUIRE to prefer (prefer to use the askpass program instead of the TTY). To set it automatically on each login, create the following systemd environment file:


It will ask for your password and unlock your SSH keys. Upon restart your SSH keys should be unlocked once you give your kwallet password.

To add a new key and store the password with kwallet use the following command

$ ssh-add /path/to/new/key </dev/null

and append the key to the list of keys in ~/.config/autostart/ssh-add.desktop as explained above to have it unlocked upon providing the kwallet password.

Using the KDE Wallet to store Git credentials

Git can delegate credential handling to a credential helper. By using ksshaskpass as a credential helper, the HTTP/HTTPS and SMTP passwords can be safely stored in the KDE Wallet.

Install the ksshaskpass package.

Configure Git by setting the GIT_ASKPASS environment variable:


Tip: If the SSH_ASKPASS environment variable is set to ksshaskpass, then additionally setting GIT_ASKPASS is not required.

See gitcredentials(7) for alternatives and more details.

KDE Wallet for Chrome and Chromium

Chrome/Chromium/Opera has built in wallet integration. To enable it, run Chromium with the --password-store=kwallet5 or --password-store=detect argument. To make the change persistent, see Chromium#Making flags persistent. (Setting CHROMIUM_USER_FLAGS will not work.)

Query passwords from the terminal

Instead of storing passwords in plain text files, you can manually add new entries in your wallet and retrieve them with kwallet-query.

For example, if you want to log into the Docker Hub registry with Podman, which supports getting the passwords from stdin with the --password-stdin flag, you can use the following command to login:

$ kwallet-query -r folder_entry wallet_name -f folder_name | podman login docker.io -u dockerhub_username --password-stdin

This way, your password is not stored in any text file and neither is it stored in the terminal history file.

Unlocking KWallet automatically in a window manager

To unlock KWallet protected by the login password, it is necessary to add

exec --no-startup-id /usr/lib/pam_kwallet_init

to the configuration file of the window manager in addition to configuring PAM.

Disable KWallet

In case you want to permanently disable kwallet:


Automatic D-Bus activation

Most applications use org.freedesktop.secrets.service D-Bus service. KWallet does not provide a service file for it out of the box.

You can achieve automatic activation by creating such service file:

[D-BUS Service]

See also