Common Keyring: KDE and GNOME Combine Password Management Efforts

Jul 20, 2009

KDE and GNOME developers drafted a secret storage API designed to be a common interface for desktop applications that need to store passwords and other confidential data.

Stef Walter of GNOME Keyring and Michael Leupold of KDE Wallet Manager jointly hit upon the secret storage API idea. Both applications store passwords, encryption keys and certificates.

The combined functions are designed to be available on all desktop applications. A Keyring or Wallet-like process should run as a daemon to run other programs over a standard interface. The as yet unnamed secret storage API should run on a D-Bus framework for interprocess communication in desktop environments.

Much like D-Bus, the project should find its home on FreeDesktop.org, the platform for desktop specifications extending beyond the GNOME and KDE projects to the larger open source desktop community. The two projects are thereby making a serious step at implementing their plans to revive FreeDesktop.org expressed at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in early July.

The common initiative's wiki includes a link to the specification's version 0.1 working draft. The discussion on the subject will occur on the FreeDesktop.org Authentication mailing list.

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