Google Chrome and password keyrings on Xubuntu

Google’s Chrome is a great web browser. Its tight integration with Google’s services makes it indispensable.

Although I installed Google Chrome on my Xubuntu system I never got to starting it on my Xubuntu systems because I had been spending more time using my Windows 8.1 machine. Today I started Chrome on my Xubuntu system and got that sinking feeling when an ugly window popped up asking for keyring password.

image of Xubuntu asking for keyring password.

Xubuntu asking for keyring password.

Flash back to 2009-10: back in the old days all my computers were exclusively on Ubuntu. That was because Vista was the most annoying OS I had ever bought+used and Windows XP was getting fatter and slower every day.

So, continuing with our flashback … back in the old days, I installed Chrome on my Ubuntu system and started it only to find a “please enter password to unlock keyring” message/input window pop out of no where. Those were the early days of confusion, so people had a lot of weird solutions floating around: “install seahorse and ride it to magical lands” said a few, or, “be a gui ninja and click here, click there, and then click through a few menus and then through a few buttons to magically end these atrocities“, or “be a terminal ninja and change /etc files” said a few others. None of those “solutions” worked for me. So, I did what came logically: I hunted down those “*keyring*” files and deleted them! The next time I started Chrome, a new window popped up. That window asked me to setup the keyring by entering a password. I chose an empty password for which I got a warning that said something to the effect “your passwords will be stored with no security” … to which I replied “yeah! whatever!” and hit ok. From that time on the keyring manager never bothered me with “enter password before I let you browse” stupidity.

Today, I had to repeat that entire procedure on my current Xubuntu systems. So …

So! Bottom line: if you are on Xubuntu 13.x AND if you have installed Google Chrome AND if you have setup your Google account in your Google Chrome AND if you start Google Chrome AND if a window has popped up asking for keyring password AND if you don’t recollect setting up a keyring password, here’s is what you do:

  • close that window asking for keyring password
  • close Google Chrome
  • open a terminal
  • go to “.local/share/keyrings” (cd; cd .local/share/keyrings)
  • create a directory called ORIG (mkdir ORIG)
  • move the existing files into ORIG (mv *.* ORIG)
  • reboot because that is always the best thing to do! (sudo reboot)

Now, start your Google Chrome. A new window will pop up like this:

image of Xubuntu requesting you to setup a new password for the keyring

Xubuntu requesting me to setup a new password for the keyring.

Just hit enter … implying you don’t want to set up any keyring passwords. You will be WARNED! Ignore the warning, as most warnings are meant to be ignored (just kidding! never ignore warnings, but, you must ignore this warning).

image of Xubuntu warning me that all my passwords will be stored unencrypted

Xubuntu warning me that all my passwords will be stored unencrypted. Sure! Whatever!

And now you are all setup! Starting Google Chrome will not bring up a stupid “enter password for keyring” window … ever again … that is till you goof around with the default, empty password, keyring setup.

Enjoy, as always!