Ubuntu Keyring Password Change

22 02 2009

Due to some reason security problems with a server I had used a common password on, I took the time today to change all my passwords. I reset my Ubuntu password, tried to log on later in the day, and was greeted by a prompt asking me to enter my keyring password in order to connect to my wireless. After trying a few password, I quickly found out the password it wanted was my old one.

The keyring stores all your WEP keys, WAP keys, and other passwords that you let it. Truthfully, I’ve never liked the idea of storing all my passwords in one place, so I was only using it to store my wireless keys. In order to keep this annoying little application from prompting you every time you boot for your old password, you’ll have to blow away the keyring file and then start from scratch entering all your wireless keys. I’ve found no other solution after much Googling, so I will also show you how to just stop using this application all together if you choose rather than going through this again when you change passwords.

In order to reset the keyring, remove it’s files with this command,

rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/*.keyring

Reboot the computer.

You should be greeted by this prompt when you try to use your wifi (nm-applet),

keyring1Now you have two options. Either input your new password, or leave it blank. If you input a new password, either after this prompt or on next reboot there will be a check box to make the application automatically log into your keyring on user login and life will go back to normal. If you go with option 2 and leave it blank, you’ll be greeted with this,

keyring2Select “Use Unsafe Storage” and your wireless keys will just be stored in plain text and gnome-keyring won’t bother you anymore. This IS less secure, if someone can read the files on your computer. Lets face it though, if someone is already far enough into your system to read your files, they probably have root access, and you’ve got worse things to worry about than your wireless keys.