mkpasswd - generate new password, optionally apply it to a user
mkpasswd [ args ] [ user ]
mkpasswd generates passwords and can apply them automatically to users. mkpasswd is based on the code from
Chapter 23 of the O'Reilly book "Exploring Expect".
With no arguments, mkpasswd returns a new password.
With a user name, mkpasswd assigns a new password to the user.
The passwords are randomly generated according to the flags below.
The -l flag defines the length of the password. The default is 9. The following example creates a 20 charac-
mkpasswd -l 20
The -d flag defines the minimum number of digits that must be in the password. The default is 2. The follow-
ing example creates a password with at least 3 digits.
mkpasswd -d 3
The -c flag defines the minimum number of lowercase alphabetic characters that must be in the password. The
default is 2.
The -C flag defines the minimum number of uppercase alphabetic characters that must be in the password. The
default is 2.
The -s flag defines the minimum number of special characters that must be in the password. The default is 1.
The -p flag names a program to set the password. By default, /etc/yppasswd is used if present, otherwise
/bin/passwd is used.
The -2 flag causes characters to be chosen so that they alternate between right and left hands (qwerty-style),
making it harder for anyone watching passwords being entered. This can also make it easier for a password-
The -v flag causes the password-setting interaction to be visible. By default, it is suppressed.
The following example creates a 15-character password that contains at least 3 digits and 5 uppercase charac-
mkpasswd -l 15 -d 3 -C 5
"Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs" by Don Libes, O'Reilly and Asso-
ciates, January 1995.
Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology
mkpasswd is in the public domain. NIST and I would appreciate credit if this program or parts of it are used.
22 August 1994 MKPASSWD(1)
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