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A password generator and account manager.

Project Description
Avendesora Collaborative Password Utility

*Avendesora, the leaf of the Tree of Life is the key.*

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.. IGNORE: pypi statics are broken and unlikely to be fixed
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| Version: 1.8.0
| Released: 2017-11-23

Avendesora replaces the Abraxas, which are both alternatives to the traditional
password vault.

Please report all bugs and suggestions to


Avendesora is powerful command-line utility that can securely hold and
conveniently provide access to a wide variety of information about your online
accounts, including its secrets such as passwords. Account values can be
displayed, copied to the clipboard, or automatically typed into running
applications such as you web browser or terminal windows. Avendesora can also
open accounts in your web browser, automatically recognize which account to use
based on the window title, and warn you if you are not using encryption when you
go to enter your password.

Account secrets can be saved in encrypted form, as with password vaults, or
generated from a root secret. Generated secrets have two important benefits.
First, they are produced from a random seed, and so are quite unpredictable.
This is important, because the predictability of a passwords can be exploited
when cracking passwords. Second, if the root secret is shared with another
trusted party, then you both can generate new shared secrets without passing any
further secrets.

Secrets are generated from a collection of seeds, one of which must be random
with a very high degree of entropy. The random seed is referred to as the
'master seed'. It is extremely important that the master seed remain completely
secure. Never disclose a master seed to anyone except for a person you wish to
collaborate with, and then only used the shared master seed for shared secrets.
All of your private secrets should be generated from private master seeds. The
seeds generally include the master seed, the account name, the secret name, and
perhaps a version name. For example, imagine having a Gmail account, then the
account name might simply be 'gmail', and the secret name might be 'passcode'.
In this case, your master seed is combined with the words 'gmail' and
'passcode', the combination is hashed, and then password is generated with an
appropriate recipe that you specify. There are recipes for passwords, pass
phrases, PINs, security questions, etc. The password itself is not stored,
rather it is the seeds that are stored and the password is regenerated when
needed. Notice that all the seeds except the master seed need not be kept
secure. Thus, once you have shared a master seed with a collaborator, all you
need to do is share the remaining seeds and your collaborator can generate
exactly the same password. Another important thing to notice is that the
generated password is dependent on the account and secret names. Thus if you
rename your account or your secret, the password will change. So you should be
careful when you first create your account to name it appropriately so you don't
feel the need to change it in the future. For example, 'gmail' might not be
a good account name if you expect to have multiple Gmail accounts. In this case
you might want to include your username in the account name. You can always make
the shorter 'gmail' as an account alias to you can still access the account


Install with::

pip3 install --user avendesora

This will place avendesora in ~/.local/bin, which should be added to your path.

You will also need to install some operating system commands. On Fedora use::

yum install gnupg2 xdotool xsel

You should also install python-gobject. Conceivably this could be installed with
the above pip command, but gobject appears broken in pypi, so it is better use
the operating system's package manager to install it. See the file for
more information. On Redhat systms use::

yum install python3-gobject

If you would like to use scrypt as a way of encrypting fields, you will need to
install scrypt by hand using::

pip3 install --user scrypt


Avendesora is primarily a password generator. As a result, there is always
a chance that something could change in the password generation algorithm that
causes the generated passwords to change. Of course, the program is thoroughly
tested to assure this does not happen, but there is still a small chance that
something slips through. To assure that you are not affected by this, you
should archive your passwords before you upgrade with::

avendesora changed
avendesora archive

The *changed* command should always be run before an *archive* command. It
allows you to review all the changes that have occurred so that you can verify
that they were all intentional. Once you are comfortable, run the *archive*
command to save all the changes. Then upgrade with::

pip3 install -upgrade --user avendesora

Finally, run::

avendesora changed

to confirm that none of your generated passwords have changed.

It is a good idea to run 'avendesora changed' and 'avendesora archive' on
a routine basis to keep your archive up to date.

Upon updating you may find that Avendesora produces a message that a 'hash' has
changed. This is an indication that something has changed in the program that
could affect the generated secrets. Again, care is taken when developing
Avendesora to prevent this from happening. But it is an indication that you
should take extra care. Specifically you should follow the above procedure to
assure that the value of your generated secrets have not changed. Once you have
confirmed that the upgrade has not affected your generated secrets, you should
follow the directions given in the warning and update the appropriate hash
contained in ~/.config/avendesora/.hashes.


To use Avendesora, you will need GPG and you will need a GPG ID that is
associated with a private key. That GPG ID could be in the form of an email
address or an ID string that can be found using 'gpg --list-keys'.

If you do not yet have a GPG key, you can get one using::

$ gpg --gen-key

You should probably choose 4096 RSA keys. Now, edit ~/.gnupg/gpg-conf and add
the line::


That way, you generally need to give your GPG key pass phrase less often. The
agent remembers the passphrase for you for a time. Ten minutes is the default,
but you can configure gpg-agent to cache passphrases for as long as you like.

If you use the agent, be sure to also use screen locking so your passwords are
secure when you walk away from your computer.


If you use Vim, it is very helpful for you to install GPG support in Vim. To do
so first download::

Then copy the file into your Vim configuration hierarchy::

cp gnupg.vim ~/.vim/plugin


To operate, Avendesora needs a collection of configuration and accounts files
that are stored in ~/.config/avendesora. To create this directory and the
initial versions of these files, run::

avendesora init -g <gpg_id>

For example::

avendesora init -g


avendesora init -g 1B2AFA1C

If you would like to have more than one person access your passwords, you should
give GPG IDs for everyone::

avendesora init -g,

After initialization, there should be several files in ~/.config/avendesora. In
particular, you should see at least an initial accounts files and a config file.


The config file (~/.config/avendesora/config) allows you to personalize
Avendesora to your needs. After initializing your account you should take the
time to review the config file and adjust it to fit your needs. You should be
very thoughtful in this initial configuration, because some decisions (or
nondecisions) you make can be very difficult to change later. The reason for
this is that they may affect the passwords you generate, and if you change them
you may change existing generated passwords. In particular, be careful with
*dictionary_file* and *default_passphase_separator*. Changing these values when
first initializing Avendesora is fine, but should not be done or done very
carefully once you start creating accounts and secrets.

During an initial configuration is also a convenient time to determine which of
your files should be encrypted with GPG. To assure that a file is encrypted,
give it a GPG file suffix (.gpg or .asc). The appropriate settings to adjust
are: *archive_file*, *log_file*, both of which are set in the config file, and
the accounts files, which are found in ~/.config/avendesora/.accounts_files. For
security reasons it is highly recommended that the archive file be encrypted,
and any accounts file that contain sensitive accounts. If you change the suffix
on an accounts file and you have not yet placed any accounts in that file, you
can simply delete the existing file and then regenerate it using::

avendesora init -g <gpg_id>

Any files that already exist will not be touched, but any missing files will be
recreated, and this time they will be encrypted or not based on the extensions
you gave.

Using Avendesora

Avendesora supports a series of commands, the complete list of which can be had
by running the help command::

> avendesora help

More information on a command is accessed by adding the name of the command as
the second argument to the help command::

> avendesora help name

As an aid to finding the right help topic the topics that contain a particular
search term are listed by adding the -s or --search command line option::

> avendesora help -s term

If the first argument is not a command, then it must be the name of an account.
In this case, the *credentials* command is run if only the account name is
given, otherwise the *value* command is run (any options to the value command
should be given after the account name). The *credentials* command generally
gives the information you would need to login to an account, typically the
username or email and the passcode. The *value* command allows you to request
the value of a specific piece of information from the account. So for example::

> avendesora amazon
password: XDyfL5it

> avendesora citi pin

> avendesora southwest 0
questions.0 (First foreign country I visited): contour subtract impel

If you give a number for the desired value, Avendesora assumes you want the
answer to the corresponding security question.


Avendesora holds information about your accounts in accounts files. The list of
current accounts files is contained in ~/.config/avendesora/.accounts_files.
Each is a possibly encrypted Python file. All information known about
a particular account is contained in the attributes of a class that is created
for that account. For example:

.. code-block:: python

class BigBank(Account):
aliases = 'bb'
username = 'gman33'
email = ''
url = ''
passcode = Password(length=12)
verbal = Passphrase(length=2)
pin = PIN()
accounts = {
'checking': Hidden('MTIzNDU2Nzg='),
'savings': Hidden('MjM0NTY3ODk='),
'creditcard': Hidden('MzQ1Njc4OTA='),
questions = [
Question('What city were you born in?'),
Question('What street did you grow up on?'),
Question('What was your childhood nickname?'),
customer_service = '1-866-229-6633'

Each attribute represents a piece of information that can be requested. For
example, a summary of all information can be requested with::

> avendesora values bb
names: bigbank, bb
checking: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank accounts.checking'>
creditcard: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank'>
savings: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank accounts.savings'>
customer service: 1-866-229-6633
passcode: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank passcode'>
pin: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank pin'>
0: What city were you born in? <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank questions.0'>
1: What street did you grow up on? <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank questions.1'>
2: What was your childhood nickname? <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank questions.2'>
username: gman33
verbal: <reveal with 'avendesora show bigbank verbal'>

The attributes have various levels of confidentiality. Simple strings are not
considered sensitive. Those values provided by Python classes inherit the
confidentiality of the class. Hide() and Hidden() provides simple concealment.
GPG() and Scrypt() provides full encryption. And classes like Password(),
PasswordRecipe(), Passphrase(), PIN() and Question() generate secrets.
Attributes that are considered sensitive are not shown in the above summary, but
can be requested individually::

> avendesora value bb pin
pin: 7784

Attributes can be simple scalars, such as *pin*. They can be arrays, such as

> avendesora value bigbank questions.1
questions.1 (What street did you grow up on?): lockout insulator crumb

Or they can be dictionaries::

> avendesora value bb accounts.checking
accounts.checking: 12345678

The passcode attribute is the default scalar attribute::

> avendesora value bb
passcode: Nj3gpqHNfiie

The questions attribute is the default array attribute, which is used if the
requested field is a number::

> avendesora value bb 0
questions.0 (What city were you born in?): muffin favorite boyfriend

You can also use simple scripts as the requested value::

> avendesora value 'username: {username}, password: {passcode}'
username: gman33, password: Nj3gpqHNfiie

Finally, you can use a script for the value of the *default* attribute on the
account, then the script is used to generate the output when no attribute is

> avendesora value
username: gman33, password: Nj3gpqHNfiie

Adding And Editing Accounts

You add new accounts using the *add* command::

> avendesora add [<template>]

The available templates can be found using::

> avendesora help add

You can add new templates or edit the existing templates by changing
*account_templates* in ~/.config/avendesora/config.

The *add* command will open your editor (set this with the *edit_template*
setting in the config file). If you are using default version of *edit_template*
the template will be opened in Vim with the *n* key is mapped to take you to the
next field. You can edit any part of the template you like, but at a minimum you
need to edit the fields.

Once an account exists, you can edit it using::

> avendesora edit [<account>]

This opens the accounts file with your editor (set this with the *edit_account*
setting in the config file). If you are using default version of *edit_account*,
which uses VIM, it should take you directly to the account.

Finding Accounts

There are two ways of finding accounts. First, you can list any accounts whose
name or aliases contains a text fragment. For example::

> avendesora find bank
bankofamerica (boa)

Second, you can list any accounts that contain a text fragment in any non-secret
field. For example::

> avendesora search 4408
bankofamerica (boa)

Autotyping Passwords

There are a couple of things that must be done to enable autotyping of
passwords. First, at least some secrets must be configured for discovery.
Discovery allows secrets to determine whether they are good candidates for use
in a particular situation based on the environment. The environment includes
such things as with title of the active window, the user name, the host name,
etc. If multiple secrets are suitable, a small window pops up and lets you
choose between them. To see how to configure secrets for discovery, run
'avendesora help discovery'.

To make secret discovery easier and more robust it is helpful to add a plugin to
your web browser to make its title more informative. For Firefox, the best
plugin to use is AddURLToWindowTitle. For Chrome it is URLinTitle. It is
recommended that you install the appropriate one into your browser. For
AddURLToWindowTitle, set the following options:

| show full URL = yes
| separator string = '-'
| show field attributes = no

For URLinTitle, set:

| tab title format = '{title} - {protocol}://{hostname}{port}/{path}'

Finally, you need to configure your window manager to run Avendesora when you
type a special hot key, such as ``Alt p``. The idea is that you are in
a situation where you need a secret, such as visiting your bank's website in
your browser, then you click on the account name field with your mouse and type
your hot key. This runs Avendesora without an account name. In this case,
Avendesora uses secret discovery to determine which secret to use and the script
that should be used to produce the required information. Generally the script
would be to enter the account name, then tab, then the password, and finally
return, but you can configure the script as you choose. This is all done as part
of configuring discovery. The method for associating Advendesora to a particular
hot key is dependent on your window manager. With Gnome, it requires that you
open your Keyboard Shortcuts preferences and create a new shortcut. When you do
this, choose 'avendesora value' as the command to run.

Python API

You can access account information from Avendesora using Python using a simple
relatively high-level interface as shown in this example:

.. code-block:: python

from avendesora import PasswordGenerator, PasswordError
from inform import display, fatal, os_error
from shlib import Run
from pathlib import Path

pw = PasswordGenerator()
account = pw.get_account('mybank')
name = account.get_value('NAME')
username = account.get_value('username')
passcode = account.get_value('passcode')
url = account.get_value('ofxurl')
except PasswordError as err:

curl = Run(f'curl --user {username!s}:{passcode!s} {url!s}', 'sOEW0')
except OSError as err:

Initializes the password generator. You should pass no arguments.

get_account(name, request_seed=False, stealth_name=None):
Accesses a particular account. Takes a string for the account name or alias.
The name is case insensitive and the '-' may be given for '_'.

Optionally takes a second argument (*request_seed*) that may be a boolean,
a string, or a function that returns a string. The string is used as an
additional seed (see: `avendesora help misdirection`), and if True is passed
in, the user in queried for the seed.

The stealth name is used as account name if the account is a stealth

return name of account.

Returns the value of a particular account attribute given a user-oriented
string that describes the desired attribute. The value requested must be
a scalar value, meaning that you must individually request members of arrays
or dictionary attibutes. Here are some examples that demonstrate the various
ways of accessing the various kinds of attributes:

.. code-block:: python

passcode = account.get_value()
username = account.get_value('username')
both = account.get_value('username: {username}, password: {passcode}')
checking = account.get_value('accounts.checking')
savings = account.get_value('accounts[checking]')
answer0 = account.get_value(0)
answer1 = account.get_value('questions.1')
answer2 = account.get_value('questions[2]')

If the argument passed to get_value is a field, then it may consist of
a name (the identifier for the first level of the field) and a key (the
identifier for the second level of the field). The field is case insensitive
and a '-' will match a '_' and visa versa.

You can also specify the name and key separately in a tuple:

.. code-block:: python

username = account.get_value(('username',))
checking = account.get_value(('accounts', 'checking'))
answer0 = account.get_value((0,))
answer1 = account.get_value(('questions', 1))

The value is returned as an object that contains four attributes, value (the
actual value), is_secret (whether the value is secret or contains a secret),
name (the name of the value), and desc (the description, contains the actual
question of the answer to a question is requested). Converting the object
to a string returns the value rendered as a string. There is also the
render() method that returns a string that combines the name and the
description with the value. It takes an optional collection of format
strings, the first one that matches is used. The format strings may contain
keys in braces that get replaced by the corresponding attributes. The known
keys are n {name}, k (key), f (field, combination of name and key),
d (description) and v (value). A format string does not match it if
contains a key for a value that is not available. If no format string
matches, the value is returned as a string. The default formats are ('{f}
({d}): {v}', '{f}: {v}').

If a composite field is requested get_value() raises a PasswordError, and
the exception contains the *is_collection* and *collection* attributes. The
first is a boolean and the second is the list of available keys.
PassworError returns None for unknown attributes, so it is always safe to
access these attributes without checking whether they exist.

Used to get the values for a composite field. It iterates through the value
and returns a tuple that contains the key and the value for each item in the

Field is an identifier that may consist of a name (the identifier for the
first level of the field) and a key (the identifier for the second level of
the field). The field is case insensitive and a '-' will match a '_' and
visa versa.

Here is how you might iterate through both the scalar and composite values
in an account:

.. code-block:: python

value = acct.get_value(field)
lines += value.render('{n}: {v}').split('\n')
except PasswordError as e:
if not e.is_collection:
lines += [name + ':']
for key, value in acct.get_values(name):
lines += indent(
value.render(('{k}) {d}: {v}', '{k}: {v}'))

Iterates through the fields, each iteration yields a name and possibly
a collection of keys (None is returned if the name corresponds to a scalar).
The name and keys returned are the resolved names, which can be passed to
get_scalar() and get_composite().

Here is how this method can be used to iterate through the account values:

.. code-block:: python

for name, keys in acct.get_fields():
if keys:
for key, value in acct.get_values(name):
lines += indent(
value.render(('{k}) {d}: {v}', '{k}: {v}'))
if keys:
value = acct.get_value(name)
lines += value.render('{n}: {v}').split('\n')

get_fields() accepts a boolean argument that if specified and is true will
iterate through all fields, including those generally only used by
Avendesora, such as aliases and discovery.

get_scalar(name, key=None, default=False):
A lower level interface than get_value that given a name and perhaps a key
returns a scalar value. Also takes an optional default value that is
returned if the value is not found. Unlike get_value, the actual value is
returned, not a object that contains multiple facets of the value. Also, the
name and key must match exactly.

The name is the field name, and the key would identity which value is
desired if the field is a composite. If default is False, an error is raise
if the value is not present, otherwise the default value itself is returned.

If the value returned is an Avendesora object (GeneratedSecret,
ObscuredSecret, Script), then you should cast it to a string to get its
resolved value.

A lower level interface than get_value that given a name returns the value
of the associated field, which may be a scalar (string or integer) or
a composite (array of dictionary). Unlike get_value, the actual value is
returned, not a object that contains multiple facets of the value. Also,
the name and key must match exactly.

If the value returned is an Avendesora object (GeneratedSecret,
ObscuredSecret, Script), then you should cast it to a string to get its
resolved value.

API Example

The following example creates encrypted files that contain account information
that would be needed by close family members and by a business partner in case
anything happened to you:

.. code-block:: python

#!/bin/env python3

from avendesora import PasswordGenerator, PasswordError
from textwrap import dedent
from inform import (
display, done, Error, error, indent, is_collection, os_error
import gnupg

files = [
{ 'FILENAME': 'family.gpg',
'RECIPIENTS': ''.split(),
'ACCOUNTS': 'bank brokerage creditcard'.split(),
{ 'FILENAME': 'partner.gpg',
'RECIPIENTS': ''.split(),
'ACCOUNTS': 'login ssh root backups'.split(),

pw = PasswordGenerator()

for each in files:
accounts = []
for account_name in each['ACCOUNTS']:
acct = pw.get_account(account_name)
title = acct.get_scalar('desc', default=account_name)
lines = [title, len(title)*'=']

for name, keys in acct.get_fields():
if keys:
lines.append(name + ':')
for key, value in acct.get_values(name):
lines += indent(
value.render(('{k}) {d}: {v}', '{k}: {v}'))
value = acct.get_value(name)
lines += value.render('{n}: {v}').split('\n')

gpg = gnupg.GPG(gpgbinary='gpg2')
encrypted = gpg.encrypt('\n\n\n'.join(accounts), each['RECIPIENTS'])
if not encrypted.ok:
raise Error(
'unable to encrypt:', encrypted.stderr, culprit=each['FILENAME']
with open(each['FILENAME'], 'w') as file:
print("%s: created." % each['FILENAME'])
except OSError as e:
raise Error(os_error(e))

except (PasswordError, Error) as e:

Getting Help

The *help* command provides information on how to use Avendesora's various
features. To get a listing of the topics available, use::

avendesora help

Then, for information on a specific topic use::

avendesora help <topic>

It is worth browsing all of the available topics at least once to get a sense of
all that Avendesora can do.


Please ask questions or report bugs on ``Github Issues
<>``_. I will entertain pull
requests if you make improvements. I am particularly interested in help adapting
*Avendesora* for other editors, window managers and distributions.
Release History

Release History

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