I'm quite confused between the three, and a Google search didn't come up with much. Can someone please explain?

  • 1
    I can't believe no-one has upvoted this. I too am wondering if keystore and keychain are the same thing. I guess everyone except us falls in 2 categories: 1) don't know, don't care 2) so simple it doesn't warrant discussion. Jul 20, 2018 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


Look to:

  • Truststore vs. Keystore - Trust store contains the public parts from others and the keystore contains the personal certificate (and key).
  • Keychain - the Apple password manager.


Now that it has been clarified that the KeyChain in question is the Android API, that would best be described as: see

[...] regulates application access to the system key store and allows users to grant application access to the credentials stored there. Additionally, this API enables applications to initiate installation of credentials from X.509 certificates and PKCS#12 key stores.

So it is a way to access the truststores and keystores.

  • 2
    Android also has KeyChain - developer.android.com/reference/android/security/KeyChain.html According to the docs, "The KeyChain class provides access to private keys and their corresponding certificate chains in credential storage". Doesn't KeyStore/TrustStore also provide access to private keys and their corresponding certificates? Aug 23, 2016 at 8:35
  • Thanks. So, it's just another way to access KeyStores, in addition to using the Java KeyStore APIs? Aug 23, 2016 at 8:59
  • From what I can tell - yes. I is a bit more seamless, so probably easier to adopt.
    – RLFP
    Aug 23, 2016 at 9:01
  • Was the term keychain used before Apple started using it? I feel like that term is more universally accepted than the Apple world. Jul 20, 2018 at 2:39

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