A Go password manager for the terminal

Programming Snapshot – Go Password Manager

© Lead Image © Tatiana Venkova, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Tatiana Venkova, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 267/2023

A Go application for the terminal helps Mike Schilli remember his passwords.

Whether it's on a Post-it note under the screen or in a commercial application like OnePass, users have to write down their passwords somewhere. The Go application for the terminal presented in this article encrypts the sensitive data for storage on the hard drive and displays selected entries after entering the master password. The secret data leaves traces only in the computer's memory, with the traces vanishing when the program is closed.

Resourceful users could simply put all account names and passwords in a text file and encrypt it. However, to add new entries, the file would have to be decrypted and then re-encrypted after editing. To ensure that no unencrypted data remains on the drive, you would then need to run a scrub command to overwrite the deleted file after every edit. After decryption, all of the passwords would come up at the same time, emblazoned on the screen, where a passing colleague with sharp eyesight might catch a glimpse of one or more of them.

A number of password apps manage passwords in an exemplary manner, but do you really want to trust a random company with your confidential data and rely on them not to make mistakes during encryption or data management? Let's not forget that apps like OnePass hit you with significant monthly fees, and a guy like me has to count my pennies. The passview program (pv) presented in this article manages an encrypted collection of passwords and displays a selected entry in a terminal user interface (UI) after entering the master password (Figure 1). You can scroll through the entries and pick out the one you want before its sensitive data actually appears at the push of a button.


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