Monthly Archives: July 2008

Secure Password Generation in Mac OS X

I have been interested in generating secure passwords for awhile now. In fact I contracted my friend Jules at Web Veteran to code a custom script for me based on an algorithm I designed. The script for passwords can be found in the free tools section of this site.

It turns out that I may have been over thinking the problem. Though the script is useful and accessible to anyone on the web, for those of us lucky enough to be using Mac OS X have a secure password generator built in. There are actually a couple of them available to us. The first one is through the keychain access applet. The second is available through the command line.

I picked this tip up on from MacBreak Weekly Episode #97. I’d like to thank Leo and the crew for pointing this one out. Open a terminal session and enter the following;

openssl rand -base64

After this type in the number of characters you want the password to contain. The utility adds 2 characters to the number you specify so if you want an 8 character password, put in 6 after “-base64”, for 10 characters enter 8 etc. This is what it should look like before you press enter/return.

openssl rand -base64 6

Hope you find this useful. I know I will find useful for generating passwords on the fly when I don’t want or have time to visit the site each time I need a password.

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