From Fedora Project Wiki
Change dropped
This Change is dropped: see this FESCo ticket discussion. It can be re-proposed if interest in it revives.

Modular GNOME Keyring services


The monolithic daemon provided by GNOME Keyring will be split into dedicated sub-daemons, so that they can be consistently managed by systemd.


  • Product: Workstation
  • Responsible WG: Workstation

Current status

  • Targeted release:
  • Last updated: 2023-10-03
  • FESCo issue: #2502
  • Tracker bug: #1899998
  • Release notes tracker: #605

Detailed Description

GNOME Keyring provides multiple services from a single daemon program called gnome-keyring-daemon. This daemon is launched by the session manager (gnome-session) or PAM, depending on desktop environments. That design makes troubleshooting hard when any issue arises, as well as the individual services cannot be easily turned off.

Despite its original goal to be the central cryptographic service on desktop, the scope of GNOME Keyring has been gradually reduced over years. Notable examples are gpg-agent removal in 2015, PKCS #11 module deprecation and ssh-agent rewrite to wrap ssh-agent from OpenSSH in 2018. Now that only the essential services remaining in gnome-keyring-daemon are D-Bus secret-service and the ssh-agent wrapper, it would be straightforward to split the daemon into sub-daemons per functionality.


Benefit to Fedora

This will bring in consistent experience of setting up and managing the individual services provided by GNOME Keyring, taking advantage of systemd service manager.


  • Proposal owners: gnome-keyring-daemon currently provides 3 services: D-Bus secret-service, ssh-agent wrapper, and a control socket for PAM to automatically unlock the login keyring. Those services are either split out, or removed in favor of other means, in the following steps:
    • Make the D-Bus secret-service D-Bus activatable
    • Make the ssh-agent wrapper service socket activatable
    • Move the ssh-agent wrapper service to gcr
    • Modify the PAM module to use libsecret API to unlock the login keyring, instead of the control socket
    • Install systemd unit files for those services, modify the current session initialization sequence to use them
    • (Stretch goal) move the D-Bus secret-service implementation to libsecret
    • (Stretch goal) remove the gnome-keyring package from the default compose
  • Other developers: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)
  • Alignment with Objectives:

Upgrade/compatibility impact

The migration should be transparent.

N/A (not a System Wide Change)

How To Test

Check if the GNOME Keyring services are now managed by systemd, using systemctl status. Check if the existing applications (Seahorse, SSH clients, etc.) still work.

N/A (not a System Wide Change)

User Experience

No visible change should be observed by normal users.


N/A (not a System Wide Change)

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: (What to do? Who will do it?) N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Contingency deadline: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
  • Blocks release? N/A (not a System Wide Change), Yes/No
  • Blocks product? product


N/A (not a System Wide Change)

Release Notes