I am trying to unlock the Gnome Keyring Daemon from the command line, by directly passing it a password. I tried a few variations of --daemonize, --login, --start, but I can't get it to work.

echo $password | gnome-keyring-daemon --unlock returns SSH_AUTH_SOCK=/run/user/1000/keyring/ssh but doesn't unlock anything.

Basically I want something along the lines of:

gnome-keyring-daemon unlock --pw $password

Not sure if it makes any difference, but I'm on Manjaro i3wm version, so not using a desktop environment.


I'm using KeePassXC to manage my keyring. The one downside to this is, that I can't automatically unlock the keyring on login. Since I don't want to enter two long passwords I came up with the following script as a workaround:

  • Logging in automatically unlocks Gnome Keyring Daemon
  • Gnome Keyring Daemon contains (a part of) the PW to KeePassXC as the only entry
  • enter the last characters of the pw in a prompt
  • kill Gnome Keyring Daemon
  • use the combined pw to unlock KeePassXC

Now I want to do the opposite to lock KeePassXC again:

  • Get PW to Gnome Keyring Daemon from KeePassXC
  • Kill KeePassXC
  • Unlock GnomeKeyringDaemon <- this is the part I can't get to work

This is a very brutal, dirty, and probably very wrong way to do this, but after struggling with unlocking my keyring over SSH for a while, I came up with this little script:

echo 'NOTE: This script will only work if launched via source or .' >&2
echo -n 'Login password: ' >&2
read -s _UNLOCK_PASSWORD || return
killall -q -u "$(whoami)" gnome-keyring-daemon
eval $(echo -n "${_UNLOCK_PASSWORD}" \
           | gnome-keyring-daemon --daemonize --login \
           | sed -e 's/^/export /')
echo '' >&2

And yes, when I call . ~/bin/unlock-gnome-keyring and enter my login password, it unlocks my login keyring, I can view it in seahorse running through remote X and use it via libsecret applications.

Please be warned though, I'm not a security expert and there might be serious security implications to doing it this way. I did not check whether the password is properly cleaned in memory etc., which might render you more exposed to attacks.

  • Thank you that solved it for me! I had two errors in my code, first I forgot the -n flag after echo and I used --unlock instead of --daemonize --login (which I tried before, but due to the missing -n flag it didn't work.) Here is my final script, that quits KeePassXC and unlocks the gnome-keyring: pass=$(secret-tool lookup GnomeKeyring Password) pkill keepassxc echo -n $pass | gnome-keyring-daemon --daemonize --login unset pass – react-newbie Aug 5 '20 at 10:42
  • Just in case someone wants to try this, be extremely careful and make a backup of your keyrings before. I lost access to my login.keyring trying to follow these examples (see unix.stackexchange.com/questions/652215/…) – ChennyStar Jun 1 at 9:52

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