This question seems to have been asked a billion times, but I'm still completely unable to unlock my login keyring automatically.


I automatically login, chvt and startx along these lines into i3wm, which then fires up a modified i3lock. I really want my gnome login keyring to automatically unlock when I login (or perhaps when I unlock i3lock), but I haven't been able to successfully implement any of the instructions I've found online.


The arch wiki has a whole thing about this which I tried but failed to do. I've also looked around at various other questions/answers which have similar instructions to no avail.

One weird thing I noticed is that I am unable to unlock the login keyring via echo $LOGINPASSWORD | gnome-keyring-daemon --unlock. journalctl reports

Jul 07 20:08:16 ERIS gnome-keyring-daemon[26585]: failed to unlock login keyring on startup

when I open up seahorse to unlock it manually it reports that the login password has changed and asks me to input my old password. journalctl reports

Jul 07 20:08:43 ERIS gnome-keyring-daemon[26585]: fixed login keyring password to match login password

upon which i am unable to unlock the keyring again with my password (fortunately I made a backup beforehand).

Extra info

Here are some relevant /etc/pam.d/ files, hopefully nothing sensitive here LOL (removed comments for brevity, order unchanged. Note that I also tried this .xinitrc bit but it didn't do anything). The only thing I manually added were the pam_gnome_keyring.so bits, except for the stuff in /etc/pam.d/i3lock; anything else was already there, either by default or due to some other package.


auth       optional   pam_faildelay.so  delay=3000000
auth [success=ok new_authtok_reqd=ok ignore=ignore user_unknown=bad default=die] pam_securetty.so
auth       requisite  pam_nologin.so
session [success=ok ignore=ignore module_unknown=ignore default=bad] pam_selinux.so close
session       required   pam_env.so readenv=1
session       required   pam_env.so readenv=1 envfile=/etc/default/locale

@include common-auth
auth       optional   pam_group.so
session    required   pam_limits.so
session    optional   pam_lastlog.so
session    optional   pam_motd.so motd=/run/motd.dynamic
session    optional   pam_motd.so noupdate
session    optional   pam_mail.so standard
session    required     pam_loginuid.so
@include common-account
@include common-session
@include common-password
session [success=ok ignore=ignore module_unknown=ignore default=bad] pam_selinux.so open   
auth optional pam_gnome_keyring.so
session optional pam_gnome_keyring.so auto_start


auth    [success=1 default=ignore]  pam_unix.so nullok_secure
auth    requisite           pam_deny.so
auth    required            pam_permit.so


account [success=1 new_authtok_reqd=done default=ignore]    pam_unix.so 
account requisite           pam_deny.so
account required            pam_permit.so


session [default=1]         pam_permit.so
session requisite           pam_deny.so
session required            pam_permit.so
session optional            pam_umask.so
session required    pam_unix.so 
session optional    pam_systemd.so 


@include common-password


password    [success=1 default=ignore]  pam_unix.so obscure sha512
password    requisite           pam_deny.so
password    required            pam_permit.so
password    optional    pam_gnome_keyring.so 


auth required    pam_env.so
auth sufficient  pam_unix.so try_first_pass likeauth nullok
session optional pam_gnome_keyring.so auto_start
  • 1
    Auto-login is a big security hole as it is, and you want to enlarge it? Better stick with the password or see my comment under intika's answer, which might be helpful. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


It is in principle impossible to automatically unlock keyring on autologin, if you set any password for the keyring. The reason is that without autologin, PAM passes the password you enter for logging-in to the keyring simultaneously, and the keyring gets unlocked. If you perform autologin, there is no password to pass to the keyring, and the keyring cannot be unlocked.

The only solution to automatically unlock keyring on autologin is to remove password from the keyring completely.

  1. Install seahorse package from the software repository:

    $ sudo apt install seahorse
  2. Launch the seahorse:

    $ seahorse
  3. Right click "Login" and select "Change password" in the context menu.

  4. Enter the current password.

  5. Enter empty password as the new one.

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