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How to generate a strong password from the command line

A strong password is the most important way to keep your server secure.

A strong password should be comprised of at least 14 characters including lower case and upper case alphabetic characters, numbers and symbols and should never be based on a dictionary word.

The longer the password the harder it is to guess.

There are a number of ways to generate a password using the Linux command line.

  1. Openssl

It uses the openssl rand function to generate a 14 characters random string

openssl rand -base64 14
  1. urandom

In this method, we filter the /dev/urandom output with tr to delete unwanted characters and print the first 14 characters.

< /dev/urandom tr -dc A-Za-z0-9 | head -c14; echo
  1. pwgen

pwgen is a tool that generates random meaningless but pronounceable passwords

To install pwgen, run the command

sudo apt-get install pwgen

Once the installation is complete, you can use the following command to generate a random string of 14 characters

pwgen 14 1
  1. gpg

The gpg tool can also be used to generate a strong 14 characters password

gpg --gen-random --armor 1 14


There are many other ways to create a strong password from the command line.

You can also add a bash shell function to your ~/ .bashrc file

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