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generate random password

Terminal - generate random password
pwgen -Bs 10 1
2009-12-01 14:33:51
14
generate random password

-B flag = don't include characters that can be confused for other characters (this helps when you give someone their password for the first time so they don't cause a lockout with, for example, denyhosts or fail2ban)

-s flag = make a "secure", or hard-to-crack password

-y flag = include special characters (not used in the example because so many people hate it -- however I recommend it)

"1 10" = output 1 password, make it 10 characters in length

For even more secure passwords please use the -y flag to include special characters like so:

pwgen -Bsy 10 1

output>> }&^Y?.>7Wu

Alternatives

There are 9 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
strings /dev/urandom | grep -o '[[:alnum:]]' | head -n 30 | tr -d '\n'; echo
2009-02-16 00:39:28
User: jbcurtis
Functions: grep head strings tr
44

Find random strings within /dev/urandom. Using grep filter to just Alphanumeric characters, and then print the first 30 and remove all the line feeds.

< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6
2009-02-24 09:43:40
User: Blackbit
Functions: head tr
11

If you want a password length longer than 6, changing the -c6 to read -c8 will give you 8 random characters instead of 6. To end up with a line-feed, use this with echo:

# echo `< /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c6`

openssl rand -base64 6
randpw(){ < /dev/urandom tr -dc _A-Z-a-z-0-9 | head -c${1:-16};echo;}
2009-08-07 07:30:57
User: frozenfire
Functions: head tr
3

Generates password consisting of alphanumeric characters, defaults to 16 characters unless argument given.

cat /dev/urandom | env LC_CTYPE=C tr -dc a-zA-Z0-9 | head -c 16; echo
2014-02-05 15:04:07
User: yakovlev
Functions: cat env head tr
1

Feel free to put this in your ~/.profile:

random(){ cat /dev/urandom | env LC_CTYPE=C tr -dc $1 | head -c $2; echo; }

Then use it to generate passwords:

random [:alnum:] 16

Or DNA sequences:

random ACGT 256

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Please search the archives. Commands using pwgen(1) have been posted many times.

Comment by atoponce 201 weeks and 5 days ago

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