Access to the default keyring

Zorin newbie here: just setting up my system, and something I've done is causing an "Authentication required" message to pop up. It happens at start up, and then at unpredictable moments every few minutes.

Can anyone tell me how to find out which app is generating the pop-up?

As an aside, this is a perfect example of how Linux is not user-friendly for novices or Windows migrants. I look at the message and several questions come immediately to mind:

1/ What application? It says "an application", but what use is that? It should name the application for me.

2/ What on earth is a keyring, and what is the "default" one?

3/ It invites me to unlock this mysterious keyring, but what will that do? Is it about to download some malware if I enter my password? Or is it a legitimate request?

Anyway, end of rant! Really I'm just asking how I find out which app is making the request; what the request means; and whether I should allow it.

This is most often caused by a Chromium based Browser needing access to the keyring.
This, sadly, falls on the browser developers.
The long standing 'fix' for this is to modify the line:
Exec=chromium-browser --password-store=basic %U
to the Chromium browser .desktop file.

Can you please clarify which browser you are using and we can go step by step to resolve this.

Good spot - it's when I'm starting MS Edge. I'm not sure where the "line" you refer to is, but I placed an Edge icon on the desktop, then opened up it's properties window:

Is that of any help?

By the way, I'm not sure what a keyring is, but it doesn't accept my account password, so the only thing I can do is cancel it repeatedly.

The .desktop files are the files that create the App (Start) menu entries. These are located in /usr/share/applications directory.
First, we will need to elevate to root to make life easier (Yes, you can do the entire thing in terminal, if you want to... :wink: )

sudo -i

Now launch file manager. As you are on Core, that is Gnome's Nautilus.


Navigate in the left pane to "Other locations". Now, in the right pane, select "Computer".
This should take you to the Root directory. From here, click through usr then share and finally, applications.
Find the file named for MS Edge Browser and Right Click it, then select to open with Text Editor.
(If you double click it, it will launch the browser, instead.)

Please post a screenshot of its contents here.

Sorry for the delay - I am working on it. This is so weird; there's no file in that folder with edge.* in the file name.

This is making your life difficult, I know.

You can post a Screenshot of the folder contents.
I think it should be microsoft-edge.desktop
You can also use the Search Function from within that directory in your File Manager. Search is located on the top titlebar.

Maybe they're hidden, so click options button on the left of Minimize button and enable Show hidden files temporarily.

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The keyboard shortcut ctrl+h will perform this action, too. However, only the user Home Folder generally has hidden files. (hidden files are noted by having a (.) in front of the name).
Root does not need to have hidden files.

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It's big enough to require three screenshots. I've made hidden files visible.

Don't feel bad that you did not see it.

Because I did not, either.

How did you install Edge?

Start / Software, then "Edge" in the search field.

I selected the non-dev one.

Can you click on the installed Edge selection, then check the Source either from the Source button on titlebar or by scrolling to the bottom of the Software Store page for Edge?

Oh, hang on. Something has changed, and I know what.

When Zorin starts up, it presents that "default keyring" pop-up I described at the top of this thread. I've discovered that typing my email password into it clears the pop-up.

From then on I can start and stop Edge with no problems at all.

Note that it is my email password, not my account password, which does the trick. I wonder if, some time ago, I typed my email password into a dialog box by mistake, when it should have been my account password.

Aravisian, you've been incredibly helpful, but I feel bad for using so much of your time on a fairly minor problem. Now that I only have to type in a password once at the beginning of each session, I'm happy to call this "fixed".

Are you OK with this?

(FWIW, I'm still unclear about what I'm typing my email password into and why.)

You should have an app named Seahorse listed in the app menu.

Some reading here for changing that if you need.

I think this is what you mean:

Thank you!! :smiley: :smiley:

Ok, you have Edge installed as a Flatpak, not with the standard install.
This does explain why you do not see a .desktop file.
It may relate to the Gnome Keyring.

Let's see if your changing of the keyring password has any affect before we chase wild geese, though.

Thanks, Aravisian. I opened Seahorse and I was able to delete the keyring causing the problem (I've marked your post as the solution).

One last question - what's the difference between a Flatpak and the standard install? Did I do something wrong when looking for Edge in the store?

No, not at all.

There are three package management options available on Zorin OS.

  • The Standard APT (Advanced Package Tool) which uses .deb packages.
  • Flatpak
  • Snap

Flatpak and Snap are somewhat New in Linux and they are both a bit of a source of confusion for someone migrating from Windows.

A quick break down:
Standard APT
The standard on Zorin/Ubuntu-based deerivatives/Debian is the Debian .deb self installer package. These packages are matched to your system dependencies to ensure no conflicts.

A containerized sandboxed version of a piece of software or package. Flatpak carries all dependencies it needs with it whether you have then already installed on your system or not. This is because Flatpak is sandboxed and isolated from your system. Flatpak will only install dependencies that you need, sharing already installed flatpak dependencies between other Flatpak files. Flatpak can use a software Flatseal to allow it permissions to access the system for some packages (useful!).

A containerized sandboxed version of a piece of software or package. Snap carries all dependencies it needs with it whether you have then already installed on your system or not. This is the same as with Flatpak: isolated from your system. Snap will not share dependencies with other Snaps, meaning you can quickly gain a lot of bloat. Snap cannot be configured to work with your system.

Pros/Cons of Snap and Flatpak:
Being containerized, they are isolated from your system meaning that they are more secure. However, this is also a con, since your system is already sandboxed, meaning these containerized apps are double sandboxed and are unable to "talk" to necessary system files creating situations of failure or misbehavior of the apps.

They can come in later versions than what is in Standard APT because they bring any needed dependencies and do not have to maintain a conflict-free dependency tree with your system files.

I have my own opinions of Snap and Flatpak. I will not rehash them here, but suffice to say, I remove Snapd and Flatpak from my installation of Zorin on every install. For me, they are not worth the hassle and they cause problems. Using Dev Releases, I often have later packages without needing Flatpak or Snap. And, I can adjust dependencies and re-wrap .deb files as needed.

But for some users, Flatpak and Snap can be a boon, when you are struggling to get software that you need a certain version for or want extra modular porting.

They are an alternative to the Standard Packaging and have their uses and their downsides and qualify as a User Choice. Never feel like you have to use any of those formats.

I hope this helps.


That's a brilliant essay; thanks for going to all that trouble - I really appreciate it, and it helps fill in the numerous blanks in my knowledge. :blush:

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