remove master password of alpine

For the text-based email client alpine to remember your passwords for email servers, it is required to create a master password to encrypt the .pine-passfile. Sometimes, this is undesirable and there is no official way to disable this requirement. As hinted in this post, the master password is used as a passphrase for the encrypted key file MasterPassword.key . Therefore, it can be removed by decrypting the key file. For alpine-2.21 of Debian Linux, this key file is in the folder ~/.alpine-smime/.pwd . The passphrase can be removed with the following commands:

cd ~/.alpine-smime/.pwd
mv MasterPassword.key MasterPassword.key.orig
openssl rsa -in MasterPassword.key.orig -out MasterPassword.key

On the prompt, enter the previous master password created in alpine, the new key file will be created without a passphrase. After this, alpine will no longer prompt for master password upon startup. However, the security of alpine's password storage is also compromised. This can only be done at your own risk.


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