I upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 and I find a very annoying "feature" when I commit in git which was not present in 16.04 with Unity. I have gpgsign enabled and everytime I commit in git it opens a modal dialog box where I have to insert the GPG password.

As someone who values my security I keep all my passwords in a KeePass database which is conveniently not usable when this uselessly modal dialog comes up.

How do I stop Gnome from creating a modal dialog when asking for passwords?

I want to be able to copy&paste my password from KeePass when the dialog asking for password is already shown, and even better be able to search my KeePass db for the correct entry (i.e. I should also be able to type inside KeePass).

It's a real waste of time having to cancel whatever operation, then copy the password and having 10 seconds to repeat it before the password gets cleared from the clipboard. Especially when I try to commit from an IDE since when selecting files it does not stage them which means if I forget to copy the password right before clicking on commit I have to reselect all the files/portions of files to commit.

BTW: I do not want to use the GNOME keyring. I want to be able to use KeePass. Is there a way to do this in Gnome or do I have to uninstall ubuntu-desktop and install kubuntu-desktop instead?

  • Yes, this is such an annoying unfeature of Gnome. Hopefully this can be changed somehow.
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:23
  • There are at least two !! tickets for this UI fail: bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=688434 and bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=784270
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 13:49
  • @Thomas Thanks for the references .This bug makes it impossible to run scripts that might require more than 1 password to be used... because even if you have the first password in the clipboard when the second one is asked you may not have the time to copy it from the password manager. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 10:00
  • Yes, this is a complete UI design fail. Most security conscious people store their unique-but-hard-to-remember passwords in some external store. Dialogs like this need to understand that and support it.
    – Gary
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 18:34
  • 1
    Is there still not a solution for this? Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


This is not really a solution, just a theory for someone brave and crafty to implement.

Let the password manager implement an on-screen keyboard, like here https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/3330/improved-onscreen-keyboard/ which is not your usual keyboard, but rather a password picker. Enable on-screen keyboard in accessibility.

Then when the GNOME modal password prompt pops up, prompting for on-screen keyboard, instead of keyboard, show the password picker.



There is now a solution to this, courtesy of this answer: https://askubuntu.com/a/1392565/305208

$ sudo update-alternatives --config pinentry
There are 2 choices for the alternative pinentry (providing /usr/bin/pinentry).

  Selection    Path                      Priority   Status
* 0            /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3   90        auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/pinentry-curses   50        manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/pinentry-gnome3   90        manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 1
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/pinentry-curses to provide /usr/bin/pinentry (pinentry) in manual mode

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