Safely Removing Gnome-Keyring From Xubuntu 12.04

EDIT: Your results may vary, I am getting some feedback about this solution indicating which it may not be entirely effective, or may not work any more.

In previous Linux deployments, we have had problems with people’s keyring passwords being forgotten or not working, to the point where the universal response if you ask anyone what to do when the Gnome Keyring prompt comes up, it’s “oh, just hit cancel”.

In the latest image, we have decided to remove gnome-keyring.  You would think you would be able to do this very easily.

sudo apt-get remove gnome-keyring

But in reality, this command is dangerous, and threatens to remove xubuntu-desktop.

The following packages will be REMOVED:
  gnome-keyring oneconf python-ubuntu-sso-client seahorse software-center
  ubuntu-sso-client ubuntu-sso-client-gtk xubuntu-desktop
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 8 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 11.5 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

So, I did a bit of Googling, and I found this thread on Ask Ubuntu. They suggested installing aptitude and using aptitude to remove gnome-keyring, because they believe aptitude’s dependency tree is different.  However, this solution does not seem to work.

After doing some of my own digging, I found that under “Session and Startup” settings, there is an option called “Launch GNOME services on startup” listed under Compatibility.

GNOME Compatibility XFCE

Mousing over this option shows that disabling it will prevent Gnome Keyring from launching.  This will do away with our Gnome Keyring for good!

5 Thoughts on “Safely Removing Gnome-Keyring From Xubuntu 12.04

  1. No, it doesn’t work
    I have xubuntu 12.04, I have used the same system before but know this is killing me it doesn’t let install programs -like matlab- and your solution makes no difference.

    • Avatar photo Kirk Schnable on September 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM said:

      Hello Raul,

      Thank you for your feedback. I have seen mixed long term results with this solution as well, although it appeared to be a good solution at the time. I suspect that some programs do not respect this setting.

      Sorry to hear that this didn’t do the trick for you.

  2. Poo Jumper on September 18, 2014 at 5:40 PM said:

    I left this review for this product, and I am singularly unimpressed with the total lack of contact and or addressing any of the issues I have raised to do with it. I think my review covers the issues, and the total lack of addressing the issues, by the developers…

    Everything to do with this program hits all my aggression buttons. 1. The total lack of control. 2. The lack of an interface. 3. The lack of information about what is randomly needing to access the keyring, what for and why. 4. The non stop nag screens. The lack of an ability to stop the nag screens. 5. The overall bad design of this program and interface – or the total lack of it. 6. If you actually uninstall it, by using the Software Centre, it totally GUTS your operating system and you have to be really smart to crack back into what is left of it to rebuild it… 7. The developers have had my complaint about this leveled at them and they have had several years and done NOTHING about it, no responses – nothing…..

    This program, how it runs, and how the developers operate is totally like the NSA / CIA back door builders.

    This is my review that they have had like 2 or so years to act upon – and they have done NOTHING….

    Do NOT enable it or install it.

    All this program does is grant automatic access to programs or the access of programs (and other things) to passwords and the operations they enable; through the use of a master password – even though most of the time it does not appear to be necessary.

    Using this opens the door to EVERYTHING.
    You have NO control over it.

    It has a number of serious faults:

    1. It has NO control interface.

    2. There is NO location listed for where it is installed.

    3. Neither the location of it’s install, how to control it, or how to remove it, are listed here, anywhere else, or on the developers website.

    I might be running my PC in the same settings, with the same programs etc., and nothing has changed for days, and this program will periodically deliver a pop up, telling me that some program (or some hacker?) is requiring use of it, and that I have to enter the password.

    The most disconcerting issue is that the nag screens do not tell you who, where from or what is requesting access and to what access is being sought and what reasons for, and there is no way to switch them off.

    This total lack of user control, is unacceptable.

    If you uninstall it – via the Software Centre, it removes python, it actually REMOVES the Software Centre etc.., etc., etc., it just guts your system… as in it causes MAJOR damage.

    To reinstall the Software Centre / python etc., etc., etc., you can only do this via the Synaptic package manager, and guess what – this program reinstalls it’s self, along with ALL the other programs it removed in the uninstall.

    I think it’s like a cancer… you cut it out and it grows back.

    I have raised this issue with the developers twice 6 – 8 and 12 – 14 months ago, nothing has been responded too or done.

    They also “don’t get it” that when you go Google:

    xubuntu turn keyring off – About 544,000 results

    ubuntu turn keyring off – About 3,920,000 results

    That this “just could be an indication” that most people appear to hate everything to do with it.

    The developers / Ubuntu people, have done NOTHING to add user controls or a clean uninstall option…

    This runs by remote control giving access to everything just like a NSA style Microsoft backdoor access program..

    I think it’s incredibly suspect.

    • Avatar photo Kirk Schnable on September 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM said:

      I have noticed this tendency as well, of the keyring to pop back up after you think you’ve turned it off. I really thought this fix worked when I posted it, but a few months afterward, the keyring popped up again. I assume it was due to some software installation I did, as you said, which caused it to reappear.

      Your hypothesis that the keyring is intended as a back door is interesting. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims that the keyring runs by “remote control”? If so, I would be very interested to hear more about this.

  3. Ognerez on October 15, 2014 at 1:26 AM said:

    The first thing I’ve thought on this program is that it’s a kind of Trojan from the agents.

    Poo Jumper made me certain of that.

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