Installing and First Use

Install with:

pip3 install --user avendesora

This will place avendesora in ~/.local/bin, which should be added to your path.

You will also need to install some operating system commands. On Redhat systems (Fedora, Centos, Redhat) use:

dnf install gnupg2 xdotool xsel

You should also install python-gobject. Conceivably this could be installed with the above pip command, but gobject appears broken in pypi, so it is better use the operating system’s package manager to install it. See the file for more information. On Redhat systms use:

dnf install python3-gobject

Gobject is only used to provide a user-interactive selection utility. However, if you prefer, you can use dmenu for your selection utility, in which case you will need to install it by hand using:

dnf install dmenu

If you would like to use scrypt as a way of encrypting fields, you will need to install scrypt by hand using:

pip3 install --user scrypt


To use Avendesora, you will need GPG and you will need a GPG ID that is associated with a private key. That GPG ID could be in the form of an email address or an ID string that can be found using ‘gpg –list-keys’.

If you do not yet have a GPG key, you can get one using:

$ gpg --gen-key

You should probably choose 4096 RSA keys. Now, edit ~/.gnupg/gpg-conf and add the line:


That way, you generally need to give your GPG key passphrase less often. The agent remembers the passphrase for you for a time. Ten minutes is the default, but you can configure gpg-agent to cache passphrases for as long as you like.

If you use the agent, be sure to also use screen locking so your passwords are secure when you walk away from your computer.


If you use Vim, it is very helpful for you to install GPG support in Vim. To do so first download:

Then copy the file into your Vim configuration hierarchy:

cp gnupg.vim ~/.vim/plugin

Initializing Avendesora

To operate, Avendesora needs a collection of configuration and accounts files that are stored in ~/.config/avendesora. To create this directory and the initial versions of these files, run:

avendesora initialize -g <gpg_id>

For example:

avendesora initialize -g


avendesora initialize -g 1B2AFA1C

If you would like to have more than one person access your passwords, you should give GPG IDs for everyone:

avendesora initialize -g,

After initialization, there should be several files in ~/.config/avendesora. In particular, you should see at least an initial accounts files and a config file.

Initial Configuration

The config file (~/.config/avendesora/config) allows you to personalize Avendesora to your needs. The available configuration settings are documented in ~/.config/avendesora/config.doc. After initializing your account you should take the time to review your configuration and adjust it to fit your needs. You should be very thoughtful in this initial configuration, because some decisions (or non-decisions) you make can be very difficult to change later. The reason for this is that they may affect the passwords you generate, and if you change them you may change existing generated passwords. In particular, be careful with dictionary_file. Changing this value when first initializing Avendesora is fine, but should not be done or done very carefully once you start creating accounts and secrets.

During an initial configuration is also a convenient time to determine which of your files should be encrypted with GPG. To assure that a file is encrypted, give it a GPG file suffix (.gpg or .asc). The appropriate settings to adjust are: archive_file, log_file, both of which are set in the config file, and the accounts files, which are found in ~/.config/avendesora/.accounts_files. For security reasons it is highly recommended that the archive file be encrypted, and any accounts file that contain sensitive accounts. If you change the suffix on an accounts file and you have not yet placed any accounts in that file, you can simply delete the existing file and then regenerate it using:

avendesora initialize -g <gpg_id>

Any files that already exist will not be touched, but any missing files will be recreated, and this time they will be encrypted or not based on the extensions you gave.

More information on the various configuration options can be found in Configuring.

Configuring Your Window Manager

You will want to configure your window manager to run Avendesora when you type a special hot key, such as Alt p. The idea is that when you are in a situation where you need a secret, such as visiting your bank’s website in your browser, you can click on the username field with your mouse and type your hot key. This runs Avendesora without an account name. In this case, Avendesora uses account discovery to determine which secret to use and the script that should be used to produce the required information. Generally the script would be to enter the username or email, then tab, then the passcode, and finally return, but you can configure the script as you choose. This is all done as part of configuring discovery.

The method for associating Avendesora to a particular hot key is dependent on your window manager.


With Gnome, you must open your Keyboard Shortcuts preferences and create a new shortcut. When you do this, choose ‘avendesora value’ as the command to run.


Add the following to your I3 config file (~/.config/i3/config):

bindsym $mod+p exec --no-startup-id avendesora value


Key bindings are found in the <keyboard> section of your rc.xml configuration file. Add a key binding for Avendesora like this:

    <keybind key="A-p">
        <action name="Execute">
            <command>avendesora value</command>

Configuring Your Browser

Finally, to improve account discovery, it is recommended that you add a plugin to your web browser that puts the URL into the window title. How to do so is described in Account Discovery.