How to connect the Buttercup password manager to a cloud account

There's a new password manager in town. Find out how to connect Buttercup to a cloud account for easy password management.

How to connect the Buttercup password manager to a cloud account There's a new password manager in town. Find out how to connect Buttercup to a cloud account for easy password management.

There's yet another password manager in town. This one is cross-platform, encrypts the database in the .BCUP format (using AES 256-bit CBC mode with a SHA256 HMAC), and offers a user-friendly interface that makes managing passwords incredibly simple. The password manager in question is called Buttercup.

Buttercup offers the standard list of features. Among that feature set is the ability to configure precisely where you want to house the encrypted database. If you want to keep it on a local directory, you can do that. However, if you'd prefer to keep that database housed on a cloud account (such that you can use it with other Buttercup installations), you can do that as well.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

And that is precisely what I'm going to show you here--how to connect Buttercup to a cloud account.

A heads up: The only cloud accounts Buttercup currently supports are:

  • Dropbox
  • Nextcloud
  • ownCloud
  • WebDAV

If you don't have an account with one of those services, you might want to create one now.

What you'll need

To make this work, you'll need Buttercup installed and a cloud account to house the database. I'll be demonstrating with Buttercup installed on Pop!_OS and saving the database to Dropbox.

How to install Buttercup

This is quite simple, regardless of your platform. But since I'm demonstrating from Linux, I'll walk you through the process of installing the app on a Debian-based distribution. To make this so, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Buttercup .deb file.
  2. Save the file to ~/Downloads.
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Issue the command sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/buttercup*.deb.
  5. When prompted, type your sudo password.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

Buttercup should now be installed. Once Buttercup is up and running, you can then connect the app to one of the supported cloud services.

How to connect to the cloud

From the Buttercup main window, click File | Connect Cloud Sources (Figure A).

Figure A

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The Buttercup main window.

From the popup window (Figure B), select Dropbox.

Figure B

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Connecting Buttercup to Dropbox.

When prompted, click Authenticate With Dropbox and then (in the resulting popup) enter your Dropbox credentials and click Sign In. If you have two-factor authentication setup (which you should) retrieve your six-digit code and enter it. After getting through 2FA, click Allow to give Buttercup access to the files and folders in Dropbox.

At this point, you should see the Buttercup File Manager open (Figure C).

Figure C

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The Buttercup File Manager.

Click New Archive, type a name for the archive, and hit Enter on your keyboard. Select the newly-created file and then click Open In Buttercup. You will then be prompted to type (and verify) a master password for that archive.

And there you go. You now how a Buttercup database is housed in Dropbox. You can then install Buttercup on other machines, connect them to that same Dropbox account, and open the Buttercup archive.

The caveat

There is one caveat to using Buttercup in this manner. For some, this caveat could be a deal breaker. Say, for example, you have Buttercup open on two different devices. If you edit an entry, or create a new entry on one device, that change will not sync to the other device until you close Buttercup and reopen it (as there is no sync option in the tool). However, you can do a force reload by either clicking View | Force Reload, or using the keyboard combination [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[R]. When you do a force reload, you will have to enter your master password again. Once you've authenticated against the database, any changes you've made on other devices will appear.

And that, my fellow security buffs, is how you connect the Buttercup password manager to a cloud account. Give this handy password manager a try and see if it doesn't make its way to being your go-to tool.

Also see

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Sarayut Tanerus, Getty Images/iStockphoto