Sour grapes: SplashID, Wine and Linux.

It seemed too good to be true and alas, it was.

Getting a Windows app to run on my new Linux computer was as easy as Installing Wine (a recursive acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) and then right-clicking on a downloaded executable file.

The app in question here is SplashID — a password manager I’ve been using since at least the turn of the century on my Mac and with various Palms & Treos (and currently my Nokia). As there’s no available native Linux version of this commercial software (go figure) Wine was the only thing saving me from migrating my passwords and such to another app — which wouldn’t be so much of a problem on the desktop side, but there are limited options for my particular mobile phone OS.

The trial version of SplashID installed on my computer without a hitch, and I was able to activate it using my existing license. But every time I tried to import my previously-saved records it crashed. I’m pretty sure my SplashID database hasn’t been corrupted as it runs fine on my Mac and my Nokia. And what I’m experiencing sounds suspiciously like this filed bug.

At least one person has reported success using SplashID with CrossOver Linux, but $40 USD is more than what I paid for SplashID. It would be a good investment if I needed to run more Windows apps, but seems like overkill for just the one.

At this point my options are:

  1. To use Wine with another commercial SplashID equivalent  — preferably one with better Nokia support, like Handy Safe Pro, Best Safe or MobileKnox;
  2. Import my data into a Linux-native and proper FLOSS app, like KeePassX.

Guess which route I’ll be taking?

It’s encouraging to see that there are two java-based mobile companions for KeePassX. One of them requires the Windows version on the desktop side and transfers your data via a remote server, which sounds a bit sketchy to me. I’m hoping that the other one will load up an exported file dumped onto my phone locally. If you’re running some other desktop or mobile platform there’s probably a KeePass port that will work for you.

Either way I’ll likely have to massage my data on the way in to KeePassX which, in fairness, I probably should have switched to long ago. I’m grateful that SplashID will export my passwords to a .CSV file, but it’s kind of a shame that there’s no standard database format for personal data, like the PIM standards of .ICS for calendars and .VCF for contacts.

Maybe KeePassX’s .KDB is it?


  1. I’ve been using Password Safe since the late 90s. Then, it was Windows-only, but I chose it b/c it was created by Bruce Schneier and also open source and of course there are now ports for Linux and just about everything else. That’s been a life-saver.

  2. Keepass looks really good, so I’d go with that. At least, it looks like there is more development there. Then again, like PasswordSafe, the Linux version only supports the older database format (this makes my file sharing w/ my windows system a pain).

    Nothing’s perfect.

  3. Here’s an update: KeePassX won’t import a .CSV file. 🙁

    Thankfully the Windows version will, and that seems to work great with Wine — so I can either export that database into KeePassX, or just run the Windows app in Linux Mint.

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