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Google Chrome users on Linux to get encrypted password storage

A bit of welcome news for Linux users who browse with Google Chrome: a change has landed in the Chromium source code which adds support for the built-in, secure password stores for both GNOME and KDE.

Why is this a big deal? Using Chrome's built-in password manager, anyone can click into your options > personal stuff > show saved passwords and view anything you've stored. Call me crazy, but any change which makes my stored data (especially login information) more secure is welcome.

If you'd like to give KWallet or GNOME Keyring support a try, you'll need to download a Chromium nightly build for your x86 or x64 Linux system. Once it's deemed ready for Google Chrome, support will arrive first on the dev channel build (as do most new features). Developer Mike Mammarella posted the following to the Chromium dev group following the change:
"I've recently committed r50475 which adds a new flag, --password-store, that lets you request GNOME Keyring or (KDE) KWallet instead of the built-in unencrypted password store.

There are three possible values:
  • --password-store=gnome
  • --password-store=kwallet
  • --password-store=detect (this will eventually be the default)
For now, without the flag, we will continue to use the built-in unencrypted store. With the flag, we will now try to use the requested store (or autodetect one, and use that) to store passwords, and we will migrate existing passwords to this store."
The GNOME Keyring worked well in my test, and Chromium was able to move all my stored passwords and accept new ones without issue. I feel much better about storing credentials in my password protected keyring than I do in Chromium -- which still lacks the option of a master password.
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Tags: chrome, chromium, gnome, google, kde, keyring, kwallet, login, password, passwords, secure, security