Have you ever needed to quickly generate a new password, e.g., for some service you were signing in - or whatever else? Well, here’s a quick and dirty way to generate safe passwords direct from the command line:

$ head /dev/random | md5

It will quickly generate you a 32-char password direct from your operating system’s random number generator. For those not used to /dev/random, it’s a special file that has only random content, collected from input devices and other sources (more info at the Wikipedia page about /dev/random).

One possible alternative that can generate you a 40-char password is to use shasum instead of md5:

$ head /dev/random | shasum


PS: md5 and shasum are commands available in OS X/macOS. If you use Linux or BSD they may vary. Please check your OS documentation for more info about hashing utilities/commands for your command line.