1Password releases full-featured Linux desktop application

I used to pride myself on being able to remember dozens of complex passwords. But, now I need to remember hundreds of passwords and I just can’t do it. That’s why password managers, such as 1Password, Keeper, and LastPass, are so important. All of which is fine and good… unless you’re running Linux. Now, Agilebits’ 1Password has finally given their customers what they’ve been asking for: A Linux version. After a long beta, the company has released its first Linux edition.

Why? Because Linux’s market share is growing. According to a 2020 Fortune Business Insights report, the Linux market is predicted to grow at a healthy 19.2% growth rate for the next few years. It’s expected to grow from $3.89 billion in 2019 to $15.64 billion by the end of 2027. The Linux desktop is growing because enterprises want to secure their businesses against the ever-growing security threats of today’s IT world. And, of course, that fits in nicely with 1Password’s security goals.

As Jeff Shiner, 1Password CEO said, “1Password for Linux is the latest step in our commitment to enterprise. While 1Password can be utilized by anyone, business or individual, we have seen a real need for robust Linux support – outside of just the browser – in DevOps and IT teams in larger organizations. 1Password for Linux means that the entire organization can be protected irrespective of their device choice.”

At the same time, 1Password also supports open source. 1Password provides more than 250 open source projects with free 1Password accounts for their teams. 1Password developed the new platform with this community in mind, using a number of incredible open technologies such as Rust, Ring Crypto, and Electron, the cross-platform JavaScript application program. Many, but not all 1Password for Linux libraries have also been shared back with the community. These include an Electron hardener and secure defaults package that, together, create a secure frontend foundation for 1Password.

But, while the frontend is written in Electron, the heart of the program is written in Rust, the secure systems programming language that’s being widely adopted both in the enterprise and in Linux. The Rust-based ring crypto library powers the program’s end-to-end encryption to keep your data safe.

Besides Linux, 1Password  is available on  Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Its 1Password X web browser extension also works with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox on any platform. 

Its main features include the ability to import usernames and passwords from web browsers; two-factor authentication support, and web form fill-out support. The program syncs your data across an unlimited number of devices. Besides these, you can also create and store notes, identities, and credit card information in 1Password.

This new Linux version also brings its own features to the table. These include:

  • Encrypted browser and desktop integration – 1Password for Linux uses the Linux kernel keyring to establish a fully encrypted connection between 1Password in your browser and 1Password for Linux. That means that if you unlock one, the other will also be unlocked when you switch to it. This is the most advanced browser integration for a password manager available in Linux.

  • Passwordless unlock – Because 1Password for Linux uses the same authentication mechanisms and APIs provided to all user applications, you can unlock 1Password with your Linux user account, fingerprint sensors, or any other authentication mechanism supported by Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM).

The Linux version also includes new features, which aren’t available yet for Mac or Windows users. These include secure file attachments; Item archiving and deletion features for better document organization; Watchtower Dashboard to monitor and evaluate your password security health; and new sharing details to see who has access to what.

You also don’t have to use passwords with this password manager. 1Password also supports a fingerprint sensor or Yubikey to unlock your computer. If the 2FA key works in your distro, it’ll work in 1Password.

1Password secures your data from end to end. It starts with encrypting your information with AES-GCM-256 authenticated encryption. Your master password itself, which only you have access to, not Agilebits, is further protected by Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2 (PBKDF2). This makes it much harder to brute force your password even if they aim multiple graphics processing units (GPUs) at your security.  

You can save your password on 1Password’s servers. Or, you save your information locally and sync it with your own network servers or on Dropbox or iCloud. 1Password claims it only ever holds your data and never looks at it. The company takes privacy seriously. 

This, of course, isn’t the only password manager from Linux. Far from it! Other noteworthy, purely open-source managers include Bitwarden, Buttercup, and KeePassXC. But, 1Password easily has the biggest security company behind its password management promise. 

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