At the moment I use KeepassXC on macOS. Before I used KeepassX, which discontinued their development.

I am considering switching to command line client pass - the standard unix password manager, because of simplicity and UNIX like software.

I found a Hackernews discussion with a major flaw:

There's one problem here: by storing passwords in a series of flat files, you give away that a password to a given site or location exists. That alone can be data that a user doesn't want to share.

I wish to have my passwords 100% private and no agency and/or malware to read it out.

Are there any benefits of using pass over the "easy to use" GUI KeepassXC?

  • If you're looking at pass but concerned about confidentiality of your list pwd.sh might be closer to solving your needs. Nov 12, 2018 at 16:58
  • "Are there any benefits of using pass over the "easy to use" GUI KeepassXC?" Pass is a command line tool.
    – A. Hersean
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


Depending on the user's capabilities and requirements, the biggest flaw might certainly be lack of a GUI. Fortunately, there's QtPass (available for Linux/macOS/Windows) to remedy that flaw.

What Hackernews see as a major flaw is none in my eyes (also see the Wikipedia article on Security Through Obscurity) - no one is forcing you to name your plain text files so that they'd reveal what they're for. And even if you do: good luck breaking them open (given that you've created a good keypair which you're guarding properly).

If you're looking for arguments beyond UI, it's worth mentioning that GoPass is compatible with pass in that they can be used alongside one another (i.e. having GoPass access the same folder as pass, plus any others). GoPass allows you very fine-grained control over who (i.e. which keys) can access what passwords.

Also, KeepassX(C) uses a database, which can, and does (speaking from friends' experiences, unfortunately) break. Since, as you mention, pass is based on simple flat files, there's no database that could break in the first place.

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