I am going to go ahead and say that I have to trust at some level, therefore I choosing to trust first parties (Apple/Microsoft/etc) for the sake of this question.

I used to use KeePass (database version 2) for my passwords on Windows, but KeePassX on OSX was last updated in 2010. There is a beta with the newer database, but not sure how much I trust beta software.

I have tried using Keychain, being a native app in OSX, but it is a PITA to use. Requires my annoyingly long password just to choose "always allow", and this cannot be pasted (the OSX secure password prompt does not allow pasting). With my huge list of passwords this just seems like a royal pain. Also, there does not seem to be an easy way to dump all passwords to a text file (I tried the security dump-keychain, but nothing happened).

How secure would it be to use an encrypted DMG container from the OSX Disk Utility, and then store them in an unencrypted file such as a CSV? I know on Windows this would be a terrible idea due to temporary files, but I am unfamiliar with OSX at this level.

  • Keepass is a safe choice and is compatible with pretty much all platforms. Its only drawbacks are a somewhat outdated user interface, and being Windows software it requires Mono to run on Mac and Linux, though you may be able to find a native, third-party open source app that's compatible with its database format (like MiniKeePass on iOS for example). Nov 19, 2015 at 20:35
  • If I used anything I would use KeePassX, no way am I going to trust Mono with security. KeePassX is 5 years old though, and honetly would prefer to manage myself. I will probably use Keychain for the core items (mainly email), but for all others would rather use something like a CSV.
    – user49589
    Nov 19, 2015 at 21:38
  • I don't see why Mono is bad for security as long as your machine is safe. Even if Mono was indeed compromising security, a Mono-powered Keepass is still safer than a plaintext CSV. Nov 19, 2015 at 21:43
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    I saw the recommendation of a small encrypted image a while ago and it seems reliable. I would think the danger is that as soon as it's mounted, everything on it is accessible. Not sure if there is any residual access once it has been unmounted??
    – Dave
    Nov 20, 2015 at 17:12

3 Answers 3


You can use KeePass 2.x on OS X. It runs in Mono same as it does on Ubuntu.


Have you tried 1Password? It was one of the first password manager (2006) originally released for Mac. It's not cheap though ($50) burt rated high by many reviewers


A cheaper (free for desktop) alternative would be Lastpass which is more platforms independent as it works as plugin for browsers.

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    I have read about it, but was wanting to use open source, and in the end would prefer to self manage. I just am wondering what the real drawbacks are.
    – user49589
    Nov 19, 2015 at 19:06
  • I have not personally used 1Password, but security researchers found no flaws compared to other password managers. Paper from 23rd Usenix Security Symposium
    – John
    Nov 21, 2015 at 17:59

You're going to get a lot of different answers since you're asking for product recommendations that are subjective to everyones taste. Personally, I like the native Apple keychain. Yes, it is a PITA to use if you have a long password as you said, but it has a good enough track record for me to trust. Being a security freak myself, I typically don't like to install third party software and have it run on a regular basis unless I know the ins and outs of it. You can always change your password for Keychain access to something small and easy, yet in a way that programs like Crunch would never be able to generate and you will be just fine. As I'm sure you know, it's not the complexity of the password that matters :)

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