pass 1.7

I often mention pass in these pages. This is because it's my preferred password manager and I use it all the time for unlocking important sites, logins, and for storing specific details. But what makes pass so useful, and worth the terrible search hoops you have to jump through because of its name, is that it uses standard GPG to encrypt each password you want to store as a single file within your standard filesystem. You could, for example, have an folder and within that have passwords stored within files named after the account(s) you use. If a hacker gains access to your data, they will learn about your account names but they won't be able to access the passwords. The advantage with this approach over a database is that you can see all your passwords, see the organization, and you don't need pass installed even if you need to decrypt (or encrypt) a password. And, if you don't like the suggested naming schema, there's nothing stopping you from obfuscating your own details any way you'd like. The folder could just as easily be called KHJGF. Pass does one job, and it does that job well by vastly improving convenience and trust. After two years of development, pass 1.7 adds some fantastic new options. Top of the list is the ability to use extensions, and there are already some excellent examples, including an extension for storing your passwords in Tomb, support for OTP, and an importer for other managers. QR codes can now be generated to help make password access more intuitive, and an awesome new password generator uses /dev/urandom directly rather than through the venerable pwgen that was used before.

Project Website

Pass works with Chrome and lots of other operating systems. Two of the best UIs, are QtPass and PasswordStore on Android.

Keyboard controller browser

Qutebrowser 0.10.0

Like pass (above), Qutebrowser is another of my favorite applications that's just had a serious update. It's a minimal web browser that's controlled entirely by keyboard shortcuts based on those from Vim. This means that if you're proficient at Vim, you're already proficient at Qutebrowser. But even if you're not proficient at Vim, Qutebrowser is easy to use. Type o and start entering a search term. Pressing Enter will load the results from DuckDuckGo (by default). Press f and each link is shown as a keyboard shortcut, which you can press to open the result without using your mouse, although you can always use your mouse if you need to. Other keys include i to enter insert mode, and : to enter the interactive internal configuration system.

Qutebrowser has been through a significant development cycle over the past 12 months. This was made possible thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign used to add support for the vastly superior QtWebEngine that's used by Chromium. I've been using each successive release, and 0.10.0 is the first where I'd recommend defaulting to the new engine over the old QtWebKit. Not only is it vastly quicker and more secure, it brings QuteBrowser into the HTML 5 driven modern age, with many online applications, from Google to GitHub, no longer complaining about your browser version or falling back to HTML modes. But there are lots of other new features, too, including user scripts, support for QtWebKit Reloaded, printing support, and new history commands. After a little practice, QuteBrowser becomes second nature, and it's a brilliant way of navigating the web from your keyboard using a minimal and now fully functioning browser. If you've not tried it – or tried it this time last year – it's definitely time to give the latest release a go.

Project Website

Launch the new and awesome QtWebEngine mode with qutebrowser --backend QtWebEngine.

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