The KeePass Family

The original KeePass (Windows only) has spawned a number of related and compatible applications. Each one I look at gets its own note; here the family as a whole is considered.

Nearly all are open source, available at no cost, and are well regarded by technically adept commentators. They are also clunky and unpleasant to use, graceless, and unattractive. It’s hard to make software so unappealing that even I as a function-trumps-form guy resist using it, but the KeePass family perversely achieves that.

Synchronization is not built in. Proponents glibly say that you just plop its live database into your sync service of choice. I am a support engineer for a popular sync service and have worked first hand with people who have done this and have gotten a corrupt KeePass database for their trouble. Pointing any general purpose sync service to a hot database is an exceedingly bad idea and the only surprise for me is that it sometimes works.

Dramatis personæ

See the impressively long list of applications in the KeePass family. I’ve only looked at a few of them.

For Windows

For Linux

All options for Linux share the same dreadful interface and poor usability.

  • KeePass 2: The first version to be available for Mac and Linux. Requires Mono.
  • KeePassX: The Mono-free fork of KeePass 2. No longer gets much development and has been forked as KeePassXC.
  • KeePassXC: Being the actively developed fork of KeePassX, this is probably the best of the bunch.
  • KeePass Portable: Requires Mono.

For Android

  • KeePassDroid: The most popular. Actively developed. Unattractive.
  • Keepass2Android: A fork of KeePassDroid. Also popular and actively developed, and not an eyesore.
  • KeePassMob: No longer actively developed.
  • KeepShare: No longer actively developed. $5.
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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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One Response to The KeePass Family

  1. Pingback: KeePass2 | A maze of twisty little passages

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