Fix Linux KeePass Lockup


This article discusses how to fix a problem causing KeePass Password Safe to lockup (crash) on startup in Lubuntu 14.04. I suspect the same issue also exists in Ubunutu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu. I discovered this problem in Lubuntu because it is currently my favorite Linux desktop distribution. Lubuntu shares all the nice, capable aspects of Ubuntu but with a much nicer desktop environment that makes it light weight, easy, and fast.

Lubuntu KeePass Installation & Updates

Using the Lubuntu Software Center, I installed KeePass. While the application is technically called “KeePass Password Safe”, Ubuntu Software Center and Lubuntu Software Center both call it “Keepass2 Password manager.” After installation, the “Software Updater” application will keep the program up to date on your machine. Forgetting this is where I made a mistake which causes KeePass to crash on startup.

The Problem

While setting up KeePass, I enabled the function allowing KeePass to check for updates itself. This option is under the Advanced tab in the Start and Exit category.
KeePass Automatic UpdatesThis was a mistake. This function is great to have in Windows, where the operating system does not include external software updates in its own repositories. For Linux, however, uncheck this box. With this box checked, KeePass locks up during application startup every time and is unusable. Because KeePass would not start with the box checked, there was no conventional way to uncheck the box to allow it to work again.

The Solution

I fixed the lockup problem on KeePass. The solution was simple, but not obvious. I edited the XML configuration file to effectively, “uncheck” the check box. Here are the steps to fix the KeePass lockup on start:

  1. Open a terminal in your home directory
  2. ls -a
  3. There is a hidden directory called .config
  4. cd .config
  5. ls
  6. There will be a KeePass directory
  7. cd KeePass
  8. nano KeePass.config.xml
  9. Use Ctrl + W to search for “update” in lower case
  10. Change this: <CheckForUpdate>true</CheckForUpdate>
    to this: <CheckForUpdate>false</CheckForUpdate>
  11. Use Ctrl + X and answer Yes to save and quit.

KeePass on Lubuntu 14.04Now, when I start KeePass it does not crash. I can use it as easily in Lubuntu as I can in Windows or Android. This is an important lesson about application management in Linux. It is best to allow the software to update through the Ubuntu Software Updater, instead of through the application’s own resources. I imagine this is especially true for programs which were not natively written for multiple platforms and are ported to Linux from other operating systems like KeePass.