When we prompt our browser to save credentials once we log into a web application, they store our corresponding username and password. I know to recover these things from my browser. But I want to know to which directory in Ubuntu these passwords are stored?

  • 4
    It depends on the browser... top 3 are in my answer, if you need another browser PM me. Though I would assume most Linux based browser will use the same methods as Chromium.
    – Rinzwind
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:02
  • Which browser??
    – Braiam
    Sep 17 '14 at 14:12

Chromium and Chrome

Store passwords in three ways:

  1. GNOME Keyring
  2. KWallet 4
  3. plain text

Chromium chooses which store to use automatically, based on your desktop environment.

Passwords stored in GNOME Keyring or KWallet are encrypted on disk, and access to them is controlled by dedicated daemon software. Passwords stored in plain text are not encrypted. Because of this, when either GNOME Keyring or KWallet is in use, any unencrypted passwords that have been stored previously are automatically moved into the encrypted store.

Source for Chromium.

The manual page for google chrome (man google-chrome) shows:

          Set the password store to use.  The default is to  automatically
          detect  based  on  the  desktop  environment.  basic selects the
          built in,  unencrypted  password  store.   gnome  selects  Gnome
          keyring.  kwallet selects (KDE) KWallet.  (Note that KWallet may
          not work reliably outside KDE.)

Chrome uses the same method as Chromium. And you can use above setting to switch to plain text passwords (not recommended of course).

Chrome (older versions)

Passwords are stored in ~/.config/google-chrome/Default/Login\ Data and that is a sqlite database file (that file is encrypyed).

This login database file is in SQLite format which is lighter version of popular SQL database. In addition to login credentials it also stores other information such as auto complete entries, IE7 Logins, search keywords etc. The 'logins' table is where all the login or sign-on secrets are stored by Chrome. This table contains following interesting fields

Origin_URL - Base URL of the website
Action_URL - Login URL of the website
Username_element - Name of the username field in the website
Username_value - Actual username
Password_element - Name of the password field in the website
Password_value - Encrypted password
Date_created - Date when this entry is stored
Blacklisted_by_user - Set to 1 or 0 based on if website is blacklisted or not.

Except the password field all other fields are entered in clear text. The password for all stored websites is encrypted using Triple DES algorithm seeded with logged on user's password. That means login secrets cannot be decrypted across the user or system boundaries unless under certain conditions.

Source for Microsoft Windows.


See ~/.mozilla/firefox/<profilename>

Your passwords are stored in the key4.db and logins.json files.


  • 2
    Chrome also uses the GNOME Keyring, if it's available (as anyone who's experienced the "The default keyring wasn't unlocked..." prompts will attest to).
    – muru
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:21
  • 1
    If you want a source, the man google-chrome says this: --password-store=<basic|gnome|kwallet> Set the password store to use. The default is to automatically detect based on the desktop environment. basic selects the built in, unencrypted password store. gnome selects Gnome keyring. kwallet selects (KDE) KWallet. (Note that KWallet may not work reliably outside KDE.)
    – muru
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:32
  • 7
    @muru darn it. I have been telling people to use "man"... and now I fall for it myself :D added! :D
    – Rinzwind
    Sep 17 '14 at 8:35
  • 3
    Thing changed for Chrome: On Linux, Chrome previously stored credentials directly in the user‘s Gnome Keyring or KWallet, but for technical reasons, it has switched to storing the credentials in “Login Data” in the Chrome user’s profile directory, but encrypted on disk with a key that is then stored in the user's Gnome Keyring or KWallet. If there is no available Keyring or KWallet, the data is not encrypted when stored. Jul 8 '20 at 7:32

Ubuntu 20.10 Chromium stores passwords at ~/snap/chromium/common/chromium/Default/Login Data

The following two thing have changed since the answer Where are my browser passwords stored? was written:

One easy way to test this out is to create a new login on some website that you had not signed up for, e.g. I chose https://www.onlylads.com/

Then, after Chromium asks you to save the password and you agree, quit Chromium to unlock the database, and do:

sqlite3 ~/snap/chromium/common/chromium/Default/Login\ Data 'SELECT * FROM logins' |
  grep -a onlylads

and this now contains an entry of type:


which confirms that it stores an encrypted password, with other fields being plaintext.

We can also get the corresponding schema with:

sqlite3 ~/snap/chromium/common/chromium/Default/Login\ Data .schema

which gives:

CREATE TABLE logins (origin_url VARCHAR NOT NULL, action_url VARCHAR, username_element VARCHAR, username_value VARCHAR, password_element VARCHAR, password_value BLOB, submit_element VARCHAR, signon_realm VARCHAR NOT NULL, date_created INTEGER NOT NULL, blacklisted_by_user I NTEGER NOT NULL, scheme INTEGER NOT NULL, password_type INTEGER, times_used INTEGER, form_data BLOB, date_synced INTEGER, display_name VARCHAR, icon_url VARCHAR, federation_url VARCHAR, skip_zero_click INTEGER, generation_upload_status INTEGER, possible_username_pairs BLOB, id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT, date_last_used INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 0, moving_blocked_for BLOB, UNIQUE (origin_url, username_element, username_value, password_element, signon_realm));

I then also observe that under "Passwords and Keys", which is the:


GUI frontend for GNOME key ring, that there is a Chromium entry:

enter image description here

which is presumably contains the key to decrypt the passwords in the database.

That GUI also showed all my old passwords left over from previous Chromium versions, which I now nuked (and then had to reset the password database because I also nuked the Chromium key by mistake, but Google autosync saved me :-) https://superuser.com/questions/573602/chrome-not-saving-passwords-and-not-auto-filling-existing-login-passwords/1325741#1325741 )

This gets automatically unlocked at login time.

Some interesting reminders:

  • you must use a strong long passphrase for your login, otherwise an attacker that obtains your computer and cracks your short password offline gets all your website passwords
  • because the screen lock does not seem to lock the keyring a well equipped attack that steals your logged in computer with lock screen might be able to read RAM and decrypt your passwords I think

Tested on Ubuntu 20.10, Chromium 88.0.4324.150 snap.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.