GPG asymmetric (YubiKey) password manager
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drduh 7e53a6b510
Merge pull request #5 from drduh/document-tr-bug
Document (fixed) tr bug
5 months ago Use keygroup, make encrypted index optional 3 years ago Document (fixed) tr bug 5 months ago Add LANG=C to get tr working. 1 year ago


Purse is a fork of drduh/

Both programs are Bash shell scripts which use GPG to manage passwords and other secrets in encrypted text files. Purse uses asymmetric (public-key) authentication, while uses symmetric (password-based) authentication.

While both scripts use a trusted crypto implementation (GPG) and safely handle passwords (never saving plaintext to disk), Purse eliminates the need to remember and use a master password - just plug in a YubiKey, enter the PIN, then touch it to decrypt a password to clipboard.

By using Purse with YubiKey, the risk of master password theft or keylogging is eliminated - only physical possession of the Yubikey AND knowledge of the PIN can unlock the encrypted index and password files.

Release notes

Version 2b1 (2020)

Minor update to the second release. Currently in beta testing. Compatible on Linux, OpenBSD, macOS.

Known Issues:

  • Newer versions of macOS error with tr: Illegal byte sequence - see issue #4


  • Purse now uses a GPG keygroup to encrypt secrets to multiple recipients for improved reliability. The program will prompt for key IDs to define the keygroup; a single key ID can still be used.
  • Encrypted index is now optional and off by default, allowing a single touch to encrypt and decrypt secrets instead of two.
  • GPG configuration file is now included in Purse backup archives.

Version 2b (2019)

The second release of features several security and reliability improvements, and is an optional upgrade. Currently in beta testing. Compatible on Linux, OpenBSD, macOS.

Known Issues:

  • Read actions now require two Yubikey touches, if touch to decrypt is enabled - once for the index and twice for the encrypted password file.


  • Passwords are now encrypted as individual files, rather than all encrypted as a single flat file.
  • Individual password filenames are random, mapped to usernames in an encrypted index file.
  • Index and password files are now "immutable" using chmod while is not running.
  • Read passwords are now copied to clipboard and cleared after a timeout, instead of printed to stdout.
  • Use printf instead of echo for improved portability.
  • New option: list passwords in the index.
  • New option: create tar archive for backup.
  • Removed option: delete password; the index is now a permanent ledger.
  • Removed option: read all passwords; no use case for having a single command.
  • Removed option: suppress generated password output; should be read from safe to verify save.

Version 1 (2018)

The original release which has been available for general use and review since June 2018 (forked from which dates to 2015). There are no known bugs nor security vulnerabilities identified in this stable version of Compatible on Linux, OpenBSD, macOS.


This script requires a GPG identity - see drduh/YubiKey-Guide to set one up. Multiple identities stored on several YubiKeys are recommended for reliability.

$ git clone

(Version 2b and older) Set your GPG key ID with export PURSE_KEYID=0xFF3E7D88647EBCDB or by editing

cd and run the script interactively using ./ or symlink to a directory in PATH:

  • Type w to write a password
  • Type r to read a password
  • Type l to list passwords
  • Type b to create an archive for backup
  • Type h to print the help text

Options can also be passed on the command line.

Example usage:

Create a 30-character password for userName:

$ ./ w userName 30

Read password for userName:

$ ./ r userName

Passwords are stored with a timestamp for revision control. The most recent version is copied to clipboard on read. To list all passwords or read a previous version of a password:

$ ./ l

$ ./ r userName@1574723600

Create an archive for backup:

$ ./ b

Restore an archive from backup:

$ tar xvf purse*tar

The backup contains only encrypted passwords and can be publicly shared for use on trusted computers. For additional privacy, the recipient key ID is not included in GPG metadata (throw-keyids option). The password index file can also be encrypted by changing the encrypt_index variable to true in the script.

See drduh/config/gpg.conf for additional GPG configuration options.

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