Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3 - Password storage based on Password Safe encrypted files


Version 0.61


Password Safe implementation of Passwd::Keyring. Passwords are stored in the Password Safe encrypted file.

use Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3;

my $keyring = Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3->new(
     app=>"blahblah scraper",
     group=>"Johnny web scrapers",
     file=>"/home/joe/secrets.pwsafe3",        # ~/passwd-keyring.pwsafe3 by default
     master_password=>"very secret password",  # Or callback. See below

my $username = "John";  # or get from .ini, or from .argv...

my $password = $keyring->get_password($username, "");
unless( $password ) {
    $password = <somehow interactively prompt for password>;

    # securely save password for future use
    $keyring->set_password($username, $password, "");

login_somewhere_using($username, $password);
if( password_was_wrong ) {
    $keyring->clear_password($username, "");


This module does not require Password Safe to be installed, and can be used as generic "store many passwords in file encrypted with single master password" storage. Password Safe GUI, if installed, may help the user to review, modify, or delete saved passwords.

Official GUIs can be freely downloaded from the official site - both Windows and (beta) Linux versions are available. Apart from them there exist various compatible tools, for example <Pasaffe for Gnome|>; or <PwSafe for Mac|>;.

Actual handling of Password Safe format is based on Crypt::PWSafe3 module. Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3 just wraps it into the interface compatible with other Passwd::Keyring backends.

See Passwd::Keyring::Auto::KeyringAPI for detailed comments on keyring methods (this document is installed with Passwd::Keyring::Auto package).


Underlying module (Crypt::PWSafe3) in fact rewrites the whole file on every save and keeps all passwords cached in memory while active. This means, that any attempts to use the file paralelly from a few programs, or from a few objects within one program, are doomed to cause lost updates. Also, all passwords from the file are kept in (unprotected) memory while keyring object is active. Therefore, it is recommended to use separate .psafe3 file for Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3, not mixing it with normal Password Safe database, and to keep keyring object for a short time only, especially if modifications happen.

There are some limitations in Crypt::PWSafe3 handling of Password Safe format. Passwords are read and saved properly and it is possible to alternate using them from perl, and via Password Safe GUI, but some less important aspects of the format, like password expiraton policy, may be ignored. Refer to Crypt::PWSafe3 docs for more details.


Group name is mapped to Password Safe folder.

Realm is mapped as password title.

Username and password are ... well, used as username and password.


new(app=>'app name', group=>'passwords folder', file=>'pwsafe3 file', master_password=>'secret or callback', lazy_save=>1)

Initializes the processing. Croaks if Crypt::PWSafe3 is not installed or master password is invalid. May create password file if it is missing.

Handled parameters:

  • app

    Symbolic application name (used in password notes)

  • group

    Name for the password group (used as folder name)

  • file

    Location of .pwsafe3 file. If not given, passwd-keyring.pwsafe3 in user home directory is used. Will be created if does not exist. Note: absolute path is required, relative paths are very error prone.

  • master_password

    Password required to unlock the file. Can be given as string, or as callback returning a string (usually some way of interactively asking user for the password). The callback gets two parameters: app and file.

    If this param is missing, module will prompt interactively for this password using console prompt.

  • lazy_save

    if given, asks not to save the file after every change (saving is fairly time consuming), but only when $keyring->save is called or when keyring is destroyed.

Note: it of course does not make much sense to keep app passwords in encrypted storage if master password is saved in plain text. The module most natural usage is to interactively ask for master password (and use it to protect noticeable number of application-specific passwords).

Ideas of how to workaround this obstacle are welcome. I loosely consider either caching master password per desktop session (implementing sht. similar to ssh-agent/gpg-agent or using one of those somehow), or integrating the tool with PAM to use actual system password, or both - but while it seems doable on Linux, cross platform solution is not so easy.

set_password(username, password, realm)

Sets (stores) password identified by given realm for given user

get_password($user_name, $realm)

Reads previously stored password for given user in given app. If such password can not be found, returns undef.

clear_password($user_name, $realm)

Removes given password (if present)


Saves unsaved changes, if any are present.

Important only when lazy_save was given in constructor.


Returns info, whether this keyring actually saves passwords persistently.

(true in this case)


Marcin Kasperski


Please report any bugs or feature requests to issue tracker at


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

perldoc Passwd::Keyring::PWSafe3

You can also look for information at:

Source code is tracked at:


Copyright 2012 Marcin Kasperski.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See for more information.