After auto-login, prompted to unlock keyring multiple times

Bug #744929 reported by Felix Lawrence on 2011-03-29
This bug affects 56 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Keyring
Fix Released
gnome-keyring (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-keyring


Start with a clean session and:
 1. Mark it as autologin in gdmsetup
 2. Add a WPA wireless network
 3. Configure a jabber account in Empathy
 4. Add empathy to the startup applications list
 5. Log out, log back in
 6. Verify keyring unlock question is asked twice
 7. Install updated gnome-keyring from proposed
 8. Repeat steps 5
 9. Verify keyring unlock question is only asked once.

I have auto-login set up on my laptop. When the desktop loads, it prompts me to unlock the keychain. I enter my password, and another prompt appears, identical to the first. In total, 4 prompts appear each time I turn on my laptop.

The key thing is this: I only have to enter my password once. If I enter my correctly password on the first prompt, the keychain is unlocked and I can press "Cancel" (or hit escape) on all further prompts and the laptop works as expected. If I do not enter my password on the first prompt and hit "Cancel" on all 4 prompts, then the keychain is not unlocked and eventually I get prompted again.

So it seems like multiple requests are being made to gnome-keyring when the keyring is locked, and gnome-keyring puts up a prompt for each of these requests, rather than waiting to see what happened after the first prompt was dealt with.

This is seemingly related to the experience of some of the commenters on bug #637702, but it was suggested in the comments on that bug that new bugs should be filed with specific details. I would be happy to provide further information and/or help debug this.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.04
Package: gnome-keyring
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.38-7.39-generic 2.6.38
Uname: Linux 2.6.38-7-generic i686
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Mar 29 23:32:08 2011
SourcePackage: gnome-keyring
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to natty on 2011-03-05 (24 days ago)

Felix Lawrence (felix-lawrence) wrote :
Matteo Bertini (naufraghi) wrote :

I noted this too, it's very annoying.
More key-chain requesting apps you have, more times you have to type the same password.

Felix Lawrence (felix-lawrence) wrote :

Matteo: you actually only have to type the password into the first dialog - you can press 'cancel' (or hit escape) on all subsequent dialogs because the keychain was unlocked by the first one.

Pete Goodall (pgoodall) wrote :

I know this isn't a fix for the base bug, but it may fix the situation on an individual basis. See Comment #3 on bug #745780. Basic summary: if you have two keyrings you probably only want one. More in the comment.

Serhiy Zahoriya (xintx-ua) wrote :

Another problem is that it's window is almost incontrollable. If I don't cancel it and don't minimize it prevents from entering text in any other window by catching it.
It appeared for me after installing clock and weather indicators (these were not installed during upgrade from 10.10).
And another thing that points the bug to the weather applet is that it keeps crashing if I hit cancel about ten times.
I've sent another bug about it:

Serhiy Zahoriya (xintx-ua) wrote :

After double-clicking on the current date in calendar of clock indicator I had to hit cancel for 17 times before it asked my gmail password.
And weather applet was not launched, so it is gnome-keyring bug, I was wrong about weather.

David Truby (david.truby) wrote :

A bug I reported (Bug 761703) was marked as a duplicate of this, and it does sound very similar. However, I do not have auto-login turned on and I get the same issue, so the issue may not be related to auto-login.

Serhiy Zahoriya (xintx-ua) wrote :

I do not have auto-login enabled too, so I agree that auto-login is not related.

Sandeep Agrawal (smartsands) wrote :

is there any plan to fix this before the final natty release?
Its quite annoying, I left my PC for some time after rebooting it, I have auto-login, and I came back after like 30 mins, there were 50-60 keyring password requests.
Would really appreciate it if someone fixes this.

Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :

This has been happening consistently to a number of users (including myself) in Natty. We aren't clear on reproducibility, but it looks like all you have to do is have GDM log in automatically (so it doesn't unlock the keyring early) and have a keyring with a password set. So, I am marking this as confirmed ;)

With regards to the weird default / login keyring thing, people might be interested in bug #637702 but that feels like it should be a separate issue.

Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Sandeep Agrawal (smartsands) wrote :

I will be happy to compile and test any changes if someone wants. It is 100% reproducible every time I auto-log in.
I have 4 keyring requests, I think 1 for the keyring itself, 1 for Dropbox and 1 for Wifi password. Not sure what the 4th one is for.

I am the original reporter of #637702. It sounds like the same bug I originally reported, which persisted throughout 10.10. This bug is indeed still affecting me and is very annoying. My current "default" keyring, contains Gwibber, 4 Empathy accounts, Ubuntu One, and 2 Desktop Couch user authentications. My "login" keyring does not contain any access rights. Do other people in this bug report have Empathy and Gwibber as startup applications (or X number of total applications that access the keyring equalling the number of times they're prompted for a keyring password)?

It seems as though once the original keyring is created, if a new applications needs keyring access, it will cause a new prompt for your keyring at login. Some solutions presented on ( ) suggest deleting the keyring and after you're prompted to create a new keyring at next login, everything works fine. To me, this suggests that the problem is in the process of giving a new application keyring access (if you follow me). I wonder what would happen if someone who that solution "fixed" the problem added a new keyring-accessing application to their startup programs. My guess is then they'd be prompted for their keyring password twice, and the problem would no longer be "fixed" for them.

Changed in gnome-keyring:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New

For me, with an early update in Ubuntu 11.04, this bug appears to be fixed. At some point, starting a few days ago, I am now only prompted to unlock my keyring once. I did not apply any type of fix other than running my regular Ubuntu updates. Is anyone else still experiencing this problem with an up-to-date 11.04?

Matt Rudge (mrudge) wrote :

I can confirm that the same is happening to me. Everything worked as normal after the initial installation, but since the first update, I have been receiving multiple keyring prompts. I'm going to try deleting the keyring, as mentioned above, to see if that fixes the problem.

Jonathan: We must have different bugs then, or different programs triggering the same bug, since with the latest updates I am still prompted twice on a VM install with only one keyring. Perhaps, say Ubuntu One now only makes one request instead of many, which might have fixed the symptoms for you, but since I have U1 AND indicator-weather installed, and they both need to access passwords, I still see two prompts. gnome-keyring should be smart enough to show me only one. I'm not really interested in a workaround, I want the problem fixed and I am prepared to help fix it.

beytu (beytu) wrote :

The problem is not fixed for me either with the last update.
Everytime I launch Chromium, I have the password request window.
The auto-login to be an unused feature ;)

Changed in gnome-keyring:
status: New → Confirmed
Jason Pepling (jpepling) wrote :

We are seeing similar behavior. In our case, we have an 11.04 VM setup to auto-login with Remote Desktop enabled for a remote user to be able to access the VM. With this keyring issue, we're in a position where we have to hold on to the user's password so we can enter in the keyring password, as the authentication box pops up when the user tries to connect to the machine. After the password is entered the user can successfully connect.

I, too, am more than happy to try out a fix as this is a not an ideal situation for us, but the only workaround we have for the time being.

Changed in gnome-keyring:
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
funicorn (funicorn) wrote :

The problem in my case is, although auto login works fine, every time after login I'm asked to input the password for the gnome-keying. I do not quite understand the situation here. I choose to auto login my desktop without inputing password every time, BUT I still have to input it once after login. Such being the case why do I need auto login?

funicorn: I agree with you that the gnome-keyring should be unlocked automatically with auto-login, but that is a totally separate issue and this bug is not the place to discuss it. It's not really a gnome-keyring issue either - it's more to do with Ubuntu's auto-login. If you wanted to press this issue then perhaps you should file a bug against Ubuntu itself or post to a mailing list - but you may face an uphill battle because the suggestion probably poses a security risk.

This has apparently now been fixed upstream. The patch on the upstream ticket solves the reported problem for a Fedora user. I have rebased the upstream patch for Ubuntu's version of gnome-keyring, This involved replacing references to gck with gp11. Could someone who knows what they're doing (I don't!) help me backport the patch properly? Upstream has been very co-operative on this issue and it would be lovely to see it fixed in an update to Natty.

tags: added: patch
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the issue is fixed in oneiric

Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu Natty):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

subscribing ubuntu-sponsors so the patch get reviewed for a natty stable update

Ken VanDine (ken-vandine) wrote :

I've uploaded this to natty-proposed, however I wasn't able to reproduce the bug without the patch. To test for regressions, logout and back in and try to use an app that would need access to your keyring (like empathy) to make sure it gets unlocked.

I think we need to rely on those that were affected by the bug to verify this actually fixes it, which it does look like it should.

Ivo (van-hoi) wrote :

I have the same problem here, very annoying. I have two computers with Ubuntu 11.04, and both are affected with this problem.

But if you minimalise the dialog, and later try to enter the password, it doesn't do anything at all. It just opens again.

Steve Bergman (sbergman27) wrote :

I have this issue. But I don't see the update in natty-proposed.

Chris Halse Rogers (raof) wrote :

I don't think this is appropriate for an SRU. gnome-keyring is core infrastructure, and the regression - while quite annoying - doesn't appear to seriously impact usability, so the risk/reward ratio is quite high.

Steve Bergman (sbergman27) wrote :

I strongly disagree with post #26. It's (yet another) ugly and embarrassing bug in gnome-keyring that badly needs to be fixed. Usually it only asks twice. But sometimes will never let the user in at all. (Before posting this, I entered my gnome-keyring password 20 times before giving up and rebooting.) You can't even shut down normally, since the keyring dialog is modal. It's absolutely insane to say that this doesn't warrant an update.

Fortunately, I don't have any of my customers on natty. But if I had, they'd be on me about fixing it every day. Or to put it another way, if this doesn't get a fix, I'll be reconsidering what distro to use in my business. Not specifically over this bug, but over what it would indicate about policy.

Stéphane Graber (stgraber) wrote :

I managed to reproduce the issue here on a natty test system.

Started with a clean session and:
 - Marked it as autologin in gdmsetup
 - Added a WPA wireless network
 - Configure a jabber account in Empathy
 - Added empathy to the startup applications list

Then I rebooted the laptop with a network cable plugged in (so to ensure that empathy and NM will both ask for keyring access at the same time).

On session startup I'm indeed prompted twice for keyring credentials.

I'm now testing the fix and will sponsor to natty-proposed if it works here.

Stéphane Graber (stgraber) wrote :

Ok, that fix works here. Sponsoring to natty-proposed then.

Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu Natty):
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Clint Byrum (clint-fewbar) wrote :

Steve I have to agree with you that this is very annoying when it happens, as I've been bit by it before.

I raised the importance to Medium from Low, and I'm reviewing the diff again.

Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → Medium
Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu Natty):
importance: Low → Medium
Clint Byrum (clint-fewbar) wrote :

Upon review, the patch is fairly straightforward, and I think acceptable for SRU. I would like to see a proper SRU report added to the description before I accept this into natty-proposed. Please add one, per the process on

Specifically a simple isolated test case would be useful so that this can actually be verified.

Hello Felix, or anyone else affected,

Accepted gnome-keyring into natty-proposed, the package will build now and be available in a few hours. Please test and give feedback here. See for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Thank you in advance!

description: updated
tags: added: verification-needed
Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :

Okay, this is fixed for me both with the test case and the setup where I was having the problem originally. Thank you Felix,
Stéphane and everyone else! :)

Thanks for testing. Setting to v-done

tags: added: verification-done
removed: verification-needed
Adam Spiers (adam.spiers) wrote :

Hi all, if this is fixed AND verified, when is it going to be released? In my case sometimes it never lets me unlock the keyring, providing an endless loop of modal keyring unlock dialogs which render the desktop useless - so I agree with comment #27 that it's a pretty severe bug. Thanks ...

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gnome-keyring -

gnome-keyring ( natty-proposed; urgency=low

  * debian/patches/06-dont-prompt-multiple-times-rebased.patch
    - Don't prompt multiple times (LP: #744929)
 -- Ken VanDine <email address hidden> Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:28:27 -0400

Changed in gnome-keyring (Ubuntu Natty):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Clint Byrum (clint-fewbar) wrote :

Adam, funny you should ask, but the fix has just now been released to natty-updates.

We wait 7 days after the fix is accepted into -proposed before moving to -updates, to catch obvious major regressions. So, at least 7 days in -proposed, + verification-done == release.

Adam Spiers (adam.spiers) wrote :

Thanks Clint! I don't see it yet, but I guess it will take a little while longer for the mirrors to catch up.

mike (msezell) wrote :

I did a fresh install of 11.04 on 9/5/2011 and have all updates installed. I'm having the same problem with the keyring so I don't think this bug is fixed.

peridot (peridot-faceted) wrote :

I seem to see this bug on oneiric. (I just had to click through over a hundred modal dialogs to gain access to my machine.) Has it really been fixed? How can I test whether I am experiencing the same bug or another bug with the same symptoms?

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