#1087 File Collisions in (at least) Gentoo Linux with app-misc/pwsafe


Hi. I'm working to get Password Safe into Gentoo Linux's package repository. Alas, there are file collisions with a Password Safe-comatible command line utility called pwsafe, which is billed as "A Password Safe compatible command-line password manager". There are currently just two collisions at:

  • /usr/bin/pwsafe
  • /usr/share/man/man1/pwsafe.1

As the pwsafe project seems to predate Password Safe's Linux port by a number of years, I wondered if you might be willing to cede the short names to the command line utility. If you're amenable, I can submit a patch.

There are two ways to go:

  • Minimal. Just address the actual collisions and documentation implications.
  • Go large. Consistently rename all directories and affected files to the longer name (and, of course, the source code and documentation changes necessary as well). This would include:
    • /usr/bin/pwsafe ➞ /usr/bin/passwordsafe
    • /usr/share/pwsafe ➞ /usr/share/passwordsafe
    • ~/.pwsafe ➞ ~/.passwordsafe
    • /usr/share/man/man1/pwsafe.1 ➞ /usr/share/man/man1/passwordsafe.1
    • Perhaps /usr/share/doc/passwordsafe/help ➞ /usr/share/passwordsafe/help

I'm currently working with 0.9BETA but I'll check out the trunk shortly. Let me know your thoughts.

- John


  • Rony Shapiro

    Rony Shapiro - 2013-02-02

    Ouch. Before doing anything, I'd check if there isn't a 'passwordsafe' project in other distributions, which would be just as bad. Also, if we make such a switch, we need to consider a user upgrading from a 'pwsafe' version to 'passwordsafe'...
    A couple of alternatives:
    1. Make the change as a patch specifically for the Gentoo package.
    2. See if the older pwsafe package is still maintained, and if not get it removed from the repository.


  • John R. Graham

    John R. Graham - 2013-02-07


    Thanks for the reply. I've already made Gentoo-specific patches in order to make progress. Also, alas, the pwsafe package is actively maintained in Gentoo.

    I'll check a few other distros to see what's out there and report back. Do you have a list in mind? I'm thinking (in no particular order) Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and Arch.

    - John

  • Rony Shapiro

    Rony Shapiro - 2013-02-07

    You're effort's appreciated. I believe that Debian/Ubuntu covers Mint, which is currently the most popular distro, per distrowatch.
    As PasswordSafe is also used in a lot of corporate environments, OpenSUSE and CentOS are worth looking at as well, if you can spare the time.



  • Simon

    Simon - 2013-03-12

    Fedora (and thus Red Hat and it's clones like CentOS) also has the pwsafe utility packaged as pwsafe.

  • Philipp Gortan

    Philipp Gortan - 2013-12-09

    John, did you think about simple blocking the "other" pwsafe by adding
    to your ebuild?
    Furthermore, are you ready to share your ebuild? :)

  • Christian Burger

    Hey guys, I made an ebuild regarding the latest version 0.94BETA. Since the other project behind app-misc/pwsafe was not maintained for a long time and it cannot access the newest format, I suppose the best way would be to just take its spot in the Gentoo tree.

    Could be that the ebuild is still maintained by Gentoo, but the upstream maintainer did not do anything for over seven years. And guys, come on, at least this project here is endorsed by Bruce Schneier, that should mean something, shouldn't it? :) And last but not least, you are using Git, the other project is using CVS. If that's no sound argument, I don't know. ;)

    I made you an archive which contains the ebuild and its related patches.

    One patch changes the path of help.zip, so that it's where the all the documentation files usually can be found on Gentoo. The other removes the unicodedebug dependency from the all target in the main makefile. I could not get it to compile with it, and as far as I am concerned it's not needed.

    If I find the time, I will make a request (bug report) to purge the old ebuild and introduce the new one. As far as I could see the new version is fully backward compatible.

    BTW: It was a bit surprising that it did automatically upgrade the database without asking or giving any indication. At first I thought the new version somehow broke my database, when I tried to open it on a computer with the old version of pwsafe. Then slowly -- while grabbing my backup -- I came to the conclusion, that it might have just updated the database format.

    Anyway, thanks for your hard work and this beautiful and useful piece of software, Christian

    Edit: Just realized the ebuild's description was wrong and updated the archive.

    Last edit: Christian Burger 2014-09-17

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