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I want to create a password file so I'm not using the same password for each site. What options do I have to secure it?
Ideally I'd like to have just a text file, encrypted, so when I read it I need to enter the password and then immediately it encrypts itself again so to read it again I have to type in the password again.
Other security ideas for this file would be great. Thanks
I suggest you look at KeePassX. It's handles the automatic encryption for you. You can keep one database or multiple, as many as you need. You can define subgroups in each database to separate passwords into different categories, such as email, web forums, banking, or whatever is meaningful to you.
It can also generate strong passwords for you of any length you like using one of its built-in character group selections, or using a custom set of parameters you define. You can bring up any entry and copy the password from it with ctrl+c and paste it into a form. Use ctrl+b for the username. It copies it into your clipboard so you can paste it somewhere, then it deletes it from your clipboard later after a time interval you can specify in the settings.
There is also an autotyping capability you can set up for each web site login form where you need to enter a username and password, and it will type in the username and password for you without using the clipboard and while employing some obfuscating tactics to make it less vulnerable to key loggers.
Overall, it's much more flexible than a simple encrypted text file, takes less effort to maintain, and may even be more secure.
Both KeePassX and KeePass will run on Linux. There are also other password managers available. They're designed for the task you want, and would be much easier to use than an encrypted text file. But if you insist on a text file, gpg will do the job, as well as some other encryption tools. You have lots of choices for this, but my choice would be a password manager, probably either KeePassX or KeePass. You could also use LastPass in Firefox or Iceweasel, and that works well enough, but it only works in the browser, so you need it open anytime you need a password. If all you need are passwords for websites, then LastPass may be good enough. It doesn't require a new package install, it's just an addon for your browser.