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Keyring backend

Keyring backend

Many Axeler CLI commands require an Axelar account controlled by a secret key. Your secret key must be stored securely so as to minimize the risk of exposure to an attacker.

Like every Cosmos-based network, Axelar nodes store secret keys in a keyring. The keyring can be configured with one of several backend implementations. Learn more about keyring backend configuration from the Cosmos keyring documentation.

Axelar nodes use the file keyring backend by default. This means that your secret keys are stored in a password-encrypted file on disk. Under the file backend, you must provide your keyring password each time you execute certain Axelar CLI commands.


Protect your keyring password: There are several methods to provide your password for Axelar CLI commands. Each method comes with its own security and convenience properties. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow best practices to keep your keyring password safe.

Manual password entry

A simple and highly-secure method for password entry is to type your password whenever an Axelar CLI command prompts for it. For example, you can print the address of your account named my_account as follows:

axelard keys show my_account -a
Enter keyring passphrase: {TYPE_YOUR_PASSWORD_HERE}

Automatic password entry

It can be inconvenient to type your password for each Axlear CLI command, especially if you wish to automate CLI commands.

Suppose your keyring password is stored in a shell environment variable called KEYRING_PASSWORD. You could prefix your CLI commands with echo $KEYRING_PASSWORD | . For example:

echo $KEYRING_PASSWORD | axelard keys show my_account -a

Danger: If an attacker were to gain access to your system then the attacker could read your keyring password from your shell environment and then use it to expose your secret keys.

Axelar documentation elides password entry

For clarity, Axelar CLI documentation elides password entry from CLI commands. You must amend CLI commands according to whichever method of password entry you choose.

Example: to print the address of your account named my_account we write only

axelard keys show my_account -a