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Installing and Using Python Keyring Lib

.. contents:: **Table of Contents**

What is Python keyring lib?

The Python keyring lib provides a easy way to access the system keyring service
from python. It can be used in any application that needs safe password storage.

The keyring library is licensed under both the `MIT license
<>`_ and the PSF license.

These primary keyring services are supported by the Python keyring lib:

* Mac OS X Keychain
* Linux Secret Service
* Windows Credential Vault

Other keyring implementations are provided as well. For more detail, `browse
the source

Installation Instructions

easy_install or pip

Run easy_install or pip::

$ easy_install keyring
$ pip install keyring

Source installation

Download the source tarball from,
uncompress it, and then run " install".

Using Keyring

The basic usage of keyring is pretty simple: just call `keyring.set_password`
and `keyring.get_password`:

>>> import keyring
>>> keyring.set_password("system", "username", "password")
>>> keyring.get_password("system", "username")

Configure your keyring lib

The python keyring lib contains implementations for several backends. The
library will
automatically choose the keyring that is most suitable for your current
environment. You can also specify the keyring you like to be used in the
config file or by calling the ``set_keyring()`` function.

Customize your keyring by config file

This section describes how to change your option in the config file.

Config file path

The configuration of the lib is stored in a file named "keyringrc.cfg". This
file must be found in a platform-specific location. To determine
where the config file is stored, run the following::

python -c "import keyring.util.platform_; print(keyring.util.platform_.config_root())"

Some keyrings also store the keyring data in the file system. To determine
where the data files are stored, run this command::

python -c "import keyring.util.platform_; print(keyring.util.platform_.data_root())"

Config file content

To specify a keyring backend, set the **default-keyring** option to the
full path of the class for that backend, such as

If **keyring-path** is indicated, keyring will add that path to the Python
module search path before loading the backend.

For example, this config might be used to load the SimpleKeyring from the demo
directory in the project checkout::


Write your own keyring backend

The interface for the backend is defined by ``keyring.backend.KeyringBackend``.
Every backend should derive from that base class and define a ``priority``
attribute and three functions: ``get_password()``, ``set_password()``, and

See the ``backend`` module for more detail on the interface of this class.

Set the keyring in runtime

Keyring additionally allows programmatic configuration of the
backend calling the api ``set_keyring()``. The indicated backend
will subsequently be used to store and retrieve passwords.

Here's an example demonstrating how to invoke ``set_keyring``::

# define a new keyring class which extends the KeyringBackend
import keyring.backend

class TestKeyring(keyring.backend.KeyringBackend):
"""A test keyring which always outputs same password
priority = 1

def set_password(self, servicename, username, password):

def get_password(self, servicename, username):
return "password from TestKeyring"

def delete_password(self, servicename, username, password):

# set the keyring for keyring lib

# invoke the keyring lib
keyring.set_password("demo-service", "tarek", "passexample")
print("password stored sucessfully")
except keyring.errors.PasswordSetError:
print("failed to store password")
print("password", keyring.get_password("demo-service", "tarek"))

Integrate the keyring lib with your application

API interface

The keyring lib has a few functions:

* ``get_keyring()``: Return the currently-loaded keyring implementation.
* ``get_password(service, username)``: Returns the password stored in the
active keyring. If the password does not exist, it will return None.
* ``set_password(service, username, password)``: Store the password in the
* ``delete_password(service, username)``: Delete the password stored in
keyring. If the password does not exist, it will raise an exception.

Get involved

Python keyring lib is an open community project and highly welcomes new

* Repository:
* Bug Tracker:
* Mailing list:

Running Tests

Tests are `continuously run <!/jaraco/keyring>`_ using


.. |BuildStatus| image::
.. _BuildStatus:

To run the tests yourself, you'll want keyring installed to some environment
in which it can be tested. Three recommended techniques are described below.

Using pytest runner

Keyring is instrumented with `pytest runner
<>`_. Thus, you may invoke the tests
from any supported Python (with distribute installed) using this command::

python ptr

pytest runner will download any unmet dependencies and run the tests using
`pytest <>`_.

This technique is the one used by the Travis-CI script.

Using virtualenv and pytest/nose/unittest2

Pytest and Nose are two popular test runners that will discover tests and run
them. Unittest (unittest2 under Python 2.6) also has a mode
to discover tests.

First, however, these test runners typically need a test environment in which
to run. It is recommended that you install keyring to a virtual environment
to avoid interfering with your system environment. For more information, see
the `venv documentation <>`_ or
the `virtualenv homepage <>`_.

After you've created (or designated) your environment, install keyring into
the environment by running::

python develop

Then, invoke your favorite test runner, e.g.::




Using buildout

Keyring supplies a buildout.cfg for use with buildout. If you have buildout
installed, tests can be invoked as so::

1. bin/buildout # prepare the buildout.
2. bin/test # execute the test runner.

For more information about the options that the script provides do execute::

python bin/test --help


The project was based on Tarek Ziade's idea in `this post`_. Kang Zhang
initially carried it out as a `Google Summer of Code`_ project, and Tarek
mentored Kang on this project.

.. _this post:
.. _Google Summer of Code:

See CONTRIBUTORS.txt for a complete list of contributors.



* Version numbering is now derived from the code repository tags via `hgtools
* Build and install now requires setuptools.


* The entry point group must look like a module name, so the group is now


* Added preliminary support for loading keyring backends through ``setuptools
entry points``, specifically "keyring backends".


* Removed ``keyring_path`` parameter from ``load_keyring``. See release notes
for 3.0.3 for more details.
* Issue #22: Removed support for loading the config from the current
directory. The config file must now be located in the platform-specific
config location.


* Issue #22: Deprecated loading of config from current directory. Support for
loading the config in this manner will be removed in a future version.
* Issue #131: Keyring now will prefer ``pywin32-ctypes
<>``_ to pywin32 if available.


* Gnome keyring no longer relies on the GNOME_KEYRING_CONTROL environment
* Issue #140: Restore compatibility for older versions of PyWin32.


* `Pull Request #1 (github) <>`_:
Add support for packages that wish to bundle keyring by using relative
imports throughout.


* Issue #49: Give the backend priorities a 1.5 multiplier bump when an
XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP environment variable matches the keyring's target
* Issue #99: Clarified documentation on location of config and data files.
Prepared the code base to treat the two differently on Unix-based systems.
For now, the behavior is unchanged.


* Extracted FileBacked and Encrypted base classes.
* Add a pyinstaller hook to expose backend modules. Ref #124
* Pull request #41: Use errno module instead of hardcoding error codes.
* SecretService backend: correctly handle cases when user dismissed
the collection creation or unlock prompt.


* Pull request #40: KWallet backend will now honor the ``KDE_FULL_SESSION``
environment variable as found on openSUSE.


* SecretService backend: use a different function to check that the
backend is functional. The default collection may not exist, but
the collection will remain usable in that case.

Also, make the error message more verbose.



* Issue #120: Invoke KeyringBackend.priority during load_keyring to ensure
that any keyring loaded is actually viable (or raises an informative

* File keyring:

- Issue #123: fix removing items.
- Correctly escape item name when removing.
- Use with statement when working with files.

* Add a test for removing one item in group.

* Issue #81: Added experimental support for third-party backends. See
`keyring.core._load_library_extensions` for information on supplying
a third-party backend.


* All code now runs natively on both Python 2 and Python 3, no 2to3 conversion
is required.
* Testsuite: clean up, and make more use of unittest2 methods.


* Issue #114: Fix logic in pyfs detection.


* Issue #114: Fix detection of pyfs under Mercurial Demand Import.


* Simplified the implementation of ``keyring.core.load_keyring``. It now uses
``__import__`` instead of loading modules explicitly. The ``keyring_path``
parameter to ``load_keyring`` is now deprecated. Callers should instead
ensure their module is available on ``sys.path`` before calling
``load_keyring``. Keyring still honors ``keyring-path``. This change fixes
Issue #113 in which the explicit module loading of keyring modules was
breaking package-relative imports.


* Renamed ``keyring.util.platform`` to ``keyring.util.platform_``. As reported
in Issue #112 and `mercurial_keyring #31
<>`_ and in `Mercurial
itself <>`_, Mercurial's Demand
Import does not honor ``absolute_import`` directives, so it's not possible
to have a module with the same name as another top-level module. A patch is
in place to fix this issue upstream, but to support older Mercurial
versions, this patch will remain for some time.


* Ensure that modules are actually imported even in Mercurial's Demand Import


* Removed support for Python 2.5.
* Removed names in ``keyring.backend`` moved in 1.1 and previously retained
for compatibilty.


* Restored Python 2.5 compatibility (lost in 2.0).


* Issue #10: Added a 'store' attribute to the OS X Keyring, enabling custom
instances of the KeyringBackend to use another store, such as the
'internet' store. For example::

keys = keyring.backends.OS_X.Keyring() = 'internet'
keys.set_password(system, user, password)
keys.get_password(system, user)

The default for all instances can be set in the class:: = 'internet'

* GnomeKeyring: fix availability checks, and make sure the warning
message from pygobject is not printed.

* Fixes to GnomeKeyring and SecretService tests.


* Issue #112: Backend viability/priority checks now are more aggressive about
module presence checking, requesting ``__name__`` from imported modules to
force the demand importer to actually attempt the import.


* Issue #111: Windows backend isn't viable on non-Windows platforms.


* Issue #110: Fix issues with ``Windows.RegistryKeyring``.


* Issue #80: Prioritized backend support. The primary interface for Keyring
backend classes has been refactored to now emit a 'priority' based on the
current environment (operating system, libraries available, etc). These
priorities provide an indication of the applicability of that backend for
the current environment. Users are still welcome to specify a particular
backend in configuration, but the default behavior should now be to select
the most appropriate backend by default.


* Only include pytest-runner in 'setup requirements' when ptr invocation is
indicated in the command-line (Issue #105).


* GNOME Keyring backend:

- Use the same attributes (``username`` / ``service``) as the SecretService
backend uses, allow searching for old ones for compatibility.
- Also set ``application`` attribute.
- Correctly handle all types of errors, not only ``CANCELLED`` and ``NO_MATCH``.
- Avoid printing warnings to stderr when GnomeKeyring is not available.

* Secret Service backend:

- Use a better label for passwords, the same as GNOME Keyring backend uses.


* SecretService: allow deleting items created using previous python-keyring

Before the switch to secretstorage, python-keyring didn't set "application"
attribute. Now in addition to supporting searching for items without that
attribute, python-keyring also supports deleting them.

* Use ``secretstorage.get_default_collection`` if it's available.

On secretstorage 1.0 or later, python-keyring now tries to create the
default collection if it doesn't exist, instead of just raising the error.

* Improvements for tests, including fix for Issue #102.


* Switch GnomeKeyring backend to use native libgnome-keyring via
GObject Introspection, not the obsolete python-gnomekeyring module.


* Use the `SecretStorage library <>`_
to implement the Secret Service backend (instead of using dbus directly).
Now the keyring supports prompting for and deleting passwords. Fixes #69,
#77, and #93.
* Catch `gnomekeyring.IOError` per the issue `reported in Nova client
* Issue #92 Added support for delete_password on Mac OS X Keychain.


* Fix for Encrypted File backend on Python 3.
* Issue #97 Improved support for PyPy.


* Fixed handling situations when user cancels kwallet dialog or denies access
for the app.


* Fix for kwallet delete.
* Fix for OS X backend on Python 3.
* Issue #84: Fix for Google backend on Python 3 (use of raw_input not caught
by 2to3).


* Implemented delete_password on most keyrings. Keyring 2.0 will require
delete_password to implement a Keyring. Fixes #79.


* Issue #78: pyfilesystem backend now works on Windows.


* Fixed so .rst files are included.


This is the last build that will support installation in a pure-distutils
mode. Subsequent releases will require setuptools/distribute to install.
Python 3 installs have always had this requirement (for 2to3 install support),
but starting with the next minor release (1.2+), setuptools will be required.

Additionally, this release has made some substantial refactoring in an
attempt to modularize the backends. An attempt has been made to maintain 100%
backward-compatibility, although if your library does anything fancy with
module structure or clasess, some tweaking may be necessary. The
backward-compatible references will be removed in 2.0, so the 1.1+ releases
represent a transitional implementation which should work with both legacy
and updated module structure.

* Added a console-script 'keyring' invoking the command-line interface.
* Deprecated _ExtensionKeyring.
* Moved PasswordSetError and InitError to an `errors` module (references kept
for backward-compatibility).
* Moved concrete backend implementations into their own modules (references
kept for backward compatibility):

- OSXKeychain -> backends.OS_X.Keyring
- GnomeKeyring -> backends.Gnome.Keyring
- SecretServiceKeyring -> backends.SecretService.Keyring
- KDEKWallet -> backends.kwallet.Keyring
- BasicFileKeyring -> backends.file.BaseKeyring
- CryptedFileKeyring -> backends.file.EncryptedKeyring
- UncryptedFileKeyring -> backends.file.PlaintextKeyring
- Win32CryptoKeyring -> backends.Windows.EncryptedKeyring
- WinVaultKeyring -> backends.Windows.WinVaultKeyring
- Win32CryptoRegistry -> backends.Windows.RegistryKeyring
- select_windows_backend -> backends.Windows.select_windows_backend
- GoogleDocsKeyring -> backends.Google.DocsKeyring
- Credential -> keyring.credentials.Credential
- BaseCredential -> keyring.credentials.SimpleCredential
- EnvironCredential -> keyring.credentials.EnvironCredential
- GoogleEnvironCredential -> backends.Google.EnvironCredential
- BaseKeyczarCrypter -> backends.keyczar.BaseCrypter
- KeyczarCrypter -> backends.keyczar.Crypter
- EnvironKeyczarCrypter -> backends.keyczar.EnvironCrypter
- EnvironGoogleDocsKeyring -> backends.Google.KeyczarDocsKeyring
- BasicPyfilesystemKeyring -> backends.pyfs.BasicKeyring
- UnencryptedPyfilesystemKeyring -> backends.pyfs.PlaintextKeyring
- EncryptedPyfilesystemKeyring -> backends.pyfs.EncryptedKeyring
- EnvironEncryptedPyfilesystemKeyring -> backends.pyfs.KeyczarKeyring
- MultipartKeyringWrapper -> backends.multi.MultipartKeyringWrapper

* Officially require Python 2.5 or greater (although unofficially, this
requirement has been in place since 0.10).


This backward-incompatible release attempts to remove some cruft from the
codebase that's accumulated over the versions.

* Removed legacy file relocation support. `keyring` no longer supports loading
configuration or file-based backends from ~. If upgrading from 0.8 or later,
the files should already have been migrated to their new proper locations.
If upgrading from 0.7.x or earlier, the files will have to be migrated
* Removed CryptedFileKeyring migration support. To maintain an existing
CryptedFileKeyring, one must first upgrade to 0.9.2 or later and access the
keyring before upgrading to 1.0 to retain the existing keyring.
* File System backends now create files without group and world permissions.
Fixes #67.


* Merged 0.9.3 to include fix for #75.


* Add support for using `Keyczar <>`_ to encrypt
keyrings. Keyczar is "an open source cryptographic toolkit designed to make
it easier and safer for developers to use cryptography in their
* Added support for storing keyrings on Google Docs or any other filesystem
supported by pyfilesystem.
* Fixed issue in Gnome Keyring when unicode is passed as the service name,
username, or password.
* Tweaked SecretService code to pass unicode to DBus, as unicode is the
preferred format.
* Issue #71 - Fixed logic in CryptedFileKeyring.
* Unencrypted keyring file will be saved with user read/write (and not group
or world read/write).


* Ensure migration is run when get_password is called. Fixes #75. Thanks to
Marc Deslauriers for reporting the bug and supplying the patch.


* Keyring 0.9.1 introduced a whole different storage format for the
CryptedFileKeyring, but this introduced some potential compatibility issues.
This release incorporates the security updates but reverts to the INI file
format for storage, only encrypting the passwords and leaving the service
and usernames in plaintext. Subsequent releases may incorporate a new
keyring to implement a whole-file encrypted version. Fixes #64.
* The CryptedFileKeyring now requires simplejson for Python 2.5 clients.


* Fix for issue where SecretServiceBackend.set_password would raise a
UnicodeError on Python 3 or when a unicode password was provided on Python
* CryptedFileKeyring now uses PBKDF2 to derive the key from the user's
password and a random hash. The IV is chosen randomly as well. All the
stored passwords are encrypted at once. Any keyrings using the old format
will be automatically converted to the new format (but will no longer be
compatible with 0.9 and earlier). The user's password is no longer limited
to 32 characters. PyCrypto 2.5 or greater is now required for this keyring.


* Add support for GTK 3 and secret service D-Bus. Fixes #52.
* Issue #60 - Use correct method for decoding.


* Fix regression in keyring lib on Windows XP where the LOCALAPPDATA
environment variable is not present.


* Mac OS X keyring backend now uses subprocess calls to the `security`
command instead of calling the API, which with the latest updates, no
longer allows Python to invoke from a virtualenv. Fixes issue #13.
* When using file-based storage, the keyring files are no longer stored
in the user's home directory, but are instead stored in platform-friendly
locations (`%localappdata%\Python Keyring` on Windows and according to
the Base Dir Specification
(`$XDG_DATA_HOME/python_keyring` or `$HOME/.local/share/python_keyring`)
on other operating systems). This fixes #21.

*Backward Compatibility Notice*

Due to the new storage location for file-based keyrings, keyring 0.8
supports backward compatibility by automatically moving the password
files to the updated location. In general, users can upgrade to 0.8 and
continue to operate normally. Any applications that customize the storage
location or make assumptions about the storage location will need to take
this change into consideration. Additionally, after upgrading to 0.8,
it is not possible to downgrade to 0.7 without manually moving
configuration files. In 1.0, the backward compatibilty
will be removed.


* Removed non-ASCII characters from README and CHANGES docs (required by
distutils if we're to include them in the long_description). Fixes #55.


* Python 3 is now supported. All tests now pass under Python 3.2 on
Windows and Linux (although Linux backend support is limited). Fixes #28.
* Extension modules on Mac and Windows replaced by pure-Python ctypes
implementations. Thanks to Jerome Laheurte.
* WinVaultKeyring now supports multiple passwords for the same service. Fixes
* Most of the tests don't require user interaction anymore.
* Entries stored in Gnome Keyring appears now with a meaningful name if you try
to browser your keyring (for ex. with Seahorse)
* Tests from Gnome Keyring no longer pollute the user own keyring.
* `keyring.util.escape` now accepts only unicode strings. Don't try to encode
strings passed to it.


* fix compiling on OSX with XCode 4.0


* Gnome keyring should not be used if there is no DISPLAY or if the dbus is
not around (


* Added `keyring.http` for facilitating HTTP Auth using keyring.

* Add a utility to access the keyring from the command line.


* Remove a spurious KDE debug message when using KWallet

* Fix a bug that caused an exception if the user canceled the KWallet dialog


* Now using the existing Gnome and KDE python libs instead of custom C++

* Using the getpass module instead of custom code


* Fixed the setup script (some subdirs were not included in the release.)


* Fixed keyring.core when the user doesn't have a cfg, or is not
properly configured.

* Fixed escaping issues for usernames with non-ascii characters


* Add support for Python 2.4+

* Fix the bug in KDE Kwallet extension compiling

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