Using Bitwarden CLI to Create Login Items

A quick guide, and a reminder to myself

Posted: 2023-01-01
Updated: 2023-01-02
Stats: 292 words / ~2 minutes

I read the docs for the Bitwarden CLI. All straightforward enough. But, I am not always clear-headed. Having, as I tend to do, skipped a step I was stalled for about 45 minutes trying to figure this out.

I use the Bitwarden CLI regularly through a qutebrowser userscript (and rofi — link to script) to log in to websites. I tend to never use it to create login items. It honestly looked like a pain. This morning, though, coffee in hand and new calendar on the wall, I decided to take a look at it. As I just mentioned, I managed to bork it up, and then decided to make it easier on myself.

I don’t know how to make Bash scripts, but the magic of search engines resulted in this:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

read -p "New Item Name: " name
read -p "New Item URI: " uriname
read -p "New Item Username: " username
read -sp "New Item Password: " secret

echo "{\"organizationId\":null,\"collectionIds\":null,\"folderId\":null,\"type\":1,\"name\":\"$name\",\"notes\":\"\",\"favorite\":false,\"fields\":[],\"login\":{\"uris\":[{\"match\": null,\"uri\": \"$uriname\"}],\"username\":\"$username\",\"password\":\"$secret\",\"totp\":\"\"},\"secureNote\":null,\"card\":null,\"identity\":null,\"reprompt\":0}" > tmpItem.json
encodedItem=$(cat tmpItem.json | bw encode)
bw create item $encodedItem
rm tmpItem.json

This is just the basics. It only gets four things needed to create the login item: the name of the item, a single URI, a username, and a password. Those variables are thrown into a JSON file, encoded by Bitwarden, and transformed into a login item. The JSON file is deleted after.

Now, I am not a security expert either. But, this gets the job done. I also use bw generate -usln to make my passwords, so that helps. AND 2FA. Don’t forget the 2FA.

You can go complain about my naïve understanding of how Bash scripts and privacy work here on Codeberg: bbbhltz/newbw. I do hope this helps other beginners like myself.

You can or contact me if you wish to comment or propose a correction.