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IEEE Spectrum Computing Channel

May 16, 2011

Ubuntu Users: How To Add Password Encryption in Google Chrome


For those Ubuntu Linux users who prefer to choose Google Chrome as their default browser, there has been some good news.

Their login passwords can now be stored in an encrypted form in the Gnome Keyring, or KDE Kwallet, as long as they
have Ubuntu 8.04 or higher installed.

It has been a well known anomaly that login data stored by Google Chrome in Linux were not encrypted, and in the Ubuntu Linux distributions could be read by any intruder at  /.config/google-chrome/Default/Login Data .

You now have the option to run Chrome with some extra parameters and store all these confidential information in the Keyring, or Kwalllet. Here is how:

Right-click on the Chrome tab, select Properties, in the Command box enter /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome %U --password-store=detect, and close the screen. That's it!

I've already done it with no problems so far, and I haven't noticed any security issues yet.

Needless to say that a Master Password option is still in demand by the majority of Chrome users, and all expect something even better than the 3DES Master password encryption scheme used by Mozilla in their successful Firefox browser.

Those who have already installed Ubuntu 11.04 with the Unity Desktop environment as default, must select the Classic Ubuntu option when starting their system because they need Gnome or KDE to encrypt their login data in the Keyring, or Kwallet respectively.

A more detailed description of the procedure with relevant links you can find at

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