1Password unsheathes Rusty key, hopes to unlock Linux Desktop world

Tries to tempt penguins with Ring Crypto


1Password has unveiled a full-featured desktop app for Linux, written in Rust and using the ring crypto library for end-to-end encryption.

The release features encrypted browser and desktop integration and, according to the business, "uses the Linux kernel keyring to establish a fully encrypted connection between 1Password in your browser and 1Password for Linux."

The upshot is that if one is unlocked, so will be the other.

"This is the most advanced browser integration for a password manager available in Linux," trumpeted the company.

The beta emerged in October 2020 with support for tiling window managers and biometric unlocking. The release "is available for all major Linux distributions" via signed packages or Ubuntu's Snap Store. A .tar.gz download is on offer otherwise.

1Password is, however, not as open source as penguinistas might like, despite the company insisting that "many libraries of 1Password for Linux have also been shared back to the community, including an Electron hardener and secure defaults package."

Alternatives include the likes of KeePass and Bitwarden (although the latter does charge does charge for some teams and enterprise features while still maintaining a free tier.)

Yep, it's the non-freemium one

1Password is also not without costs of its own. Subscriptions start with a personal one at $2.99 per month (billed annually) although the company will dole out freebie accounts to the deserving: "If you work on an open-source team that needs a password manager, open a pull request in our 1Password for Open Source Projects repo and we’ll give you and everybody on your team a free account."

Still, 1Password does have plenty of toys to attract those Linux Desktop users that sign up. There is integration with Secrets Automation, 1Password's take on the management of company infrastructure secrets, and Watchtower, which keeps an eye out for breaches as well as advising on weak passwords. And, of course, 1Password runs on a variety of devices.

With 1Password projecting some impressive growth in Linux OS market size (to $15.6bn in 2027) the arrival of its app in fully featured desktop form is unsurprising.

This is particularly so because users might be pondering alternatives to that other big beast in the password management world, LastPass. In February, Lastpass's owner LogMeIn - which has been owned by a private equity outfit since 2019 - limited fans of its freemium password manager to one device type only: computer or mobile. ®


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