Using Passbolt pro virtual machine appliance
Passbolt Pro provides a virtual appliance in OVA format. Users can import this appliance on their private virtualization platform and start enjoying Passbolt Pro. The VM includes the following software:
- Debian 11
- Passbolt Pro preinstalled
1. Getting started with Passbolt Pro VM
Download the ova and the SHA512SUM.txt:
Import the ova file using virtualbox, vmware (ESXi >= 6.0) or any other platform that supports import OVA files.
Once imported, it is highly recommanded to check if the VM is actually running as Debian (64-bit). In order to do that, just open VM’s settings and it should show on which version it is running on. Now, you should be able to boot the VM and just point to the VM ip address with their web browser to initiate the passbolt install process.
The appliance performs some actions on the first boot:
- Creates ssh host keys
- Enables ssh
- Creates a set of random mariadb credentials for the mariadb server installed on the appliance
- Creates an empty database where passbolt can be installed.
For the first login the appliance comes with the following ssh default credentials:
VM login credentials: username: passbolt password: admin
passbolt user is part of
sudo group. There is no root password, so you cannot
login in as root. You can however create a shell as root with the default user:
1.3. HTTPS setup process:
Passbolt Pro VM uses passbolt debian package. Depending on your needs there are two different options to setup nginx and SSL using the debian package:
2. Configure passbolt
Before you can use the application, you need to configure it. Point your browser to the hostname / ip where passbolt can be reached. You will reach a getting started page.
The first page of the wizard will tell you if your environment is ready for passbolt. Solve issues if any and click on “Start configuration” when ready.
2.2. Subscription key
At this step, the wizard will ask you for your subscription key. You should have received it by email soon after your online purchase. Enter it in the box.
Passbolt Virtual machine comes with a preinstalled mariadb database. The credentials for
this database are randomly generated on the first boot and the webinstaller autofills
those credentials for you. The autogenerated database credentials will be
available for later use by administrators in
If you decide to use the autogenerated credentials you can click the “Next” button and move to the next step on this tutorial.
Optional: in case you do not want to use the autogenerated mariadb credentials you could connect through ssh to your instance and use the mariadb root credentials to create a new user, password and database for passbolt to use:
ssh [email protected]<your_domain|instance_ip>
You can find the root database credentials in
sudo cat /root/.mysql_credentials
Once you have the root database credentials you can connect to the local mariadb and create any database and user you want to use to install passbolt.
2.3. GPG key
In this section you can either generate or import a GPG key pair. This key pair will be used by passbolt API to authenticate itself during the login handshake process.
Generate a key if you don’t have one.
Optional: Import a key if you already have one and you want your server to use it.
To create a new GnuPG key without passphrase:
gpg --batch --no-tty --gen-key <<EOF Key-Type: default Key-Length: 2048 Subkey-Type: default Subkey-Length: 2048 Name-Real: John Doe Name-Email: [email protected] Expire-Date: 0 %no-protection %commit EOF
Feel free to replace Name-Real and Name-Email with your own.
To display your new key:
gpg --armor --export-secret-keys [email protected]
2.4. Mail server (SMTP)
At this stage, the wizard will ask you to enter the details of your SMTP server.
You can also test that your configuration is correct by using the test email feature at the right of your screen. Enter the email address at which you want the wizard to send you a test email and click on “Send test email”.
The wizard will then ask you what preferences you prefer for your instance of passbolt. The recommended defaults are already pre-populated but you can also change them if you know what you are doing.
2.6. First user creation
You need to create the first admin user account. This first admin user is probably you, so enter your details and click on next.
That’s it. The wizard has now enough information to proceed with the configuration of passbolt. Sit back and relax for a few seconds while the configuration process is going on.
Your user account is now created. You will see a redirection page for a few second and then will be redirected to the user setup process so that you can configure your user account.
3. Configure your administrator account
3.1. Download the plugin
Before continuing passbolt will require you to download its plugin. If you already have it installed you can go to the next step.
3.2. Create a new key
Passbolt will ask you to create or import a key that will be later use to identify you and encrypt your passwords. Your key needs to be protected by a password. Choose it wisely, it will be the gatekeeper to all your other passwords.
3.3. Download your recovery kit
This step is essential. Your key is the only way to access your account and passwords. If you lose this key (by breaking or losing your computer and not having a backup for example), your encrypted data will be lost even if you remember your passphrase.
3.4. Define your security token
Choosing a color and a three characters token is a secondary security mechanism that helps you to mitigate phishing attacks. Each time you are performing a sensitive operation on passbolt, you should see this token.
3.5. That’s it!
Your administrator account is configured. You will be redirected to the login page of passbolt. Enjoy!
This article was last updated on February 2nd, 2021.