I am trying to generate a 10-character random password in Solaris servers. The examples give around the web are for Linux and mostly not working in Solaris.

  • mostly not working in solaris – judi May 8 '18 at 11:35
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    “10 digits” contradicts “special character”. What is your exact requirement? Edit your question. Your question may or may not end up being a duplicate of this depending on what you need. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 8 '18 at 11:41
  • Thanks - the password should be 10 characters - Alpha + Numeric+ Special character – judi May 8 '18 at 11:59
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    A list of commands you tried and any output / error messages you got (and what you expected instead) might help to understand your issue. – frostschutz May 8 '18 at 12:14

You can get cryptographic-quality random bytes from /dev/urandom. (This exists since Solaris 9. It also exists on Linux.) This includes unprintable characters, so you need to remove those. The following command extracts 10 random printable, non-space ASCII characters.

</dev/urandom tr -dc '!-~' | dd ibs=1 obs=1 count=10

I don't recommend using special characters in passwords. They don't make passwords more secure. What makes the security of a password is its entropy. A 10-character password has 10×log2(94) ≈ 65.5 bits of entropy. You can get the same amount of entropy from 9 arbitrary bytes and encode them as you wish, for example as hexadecimal.

</dev/urandom dd ibs=1 obs=1 count=9 | od -tx1 -An | tr -d ' '

Or as Base64, which is shorter.

</dev/urandom dd ibs=1 obs=1 count=9 | uuencode -m - | sed -n 2p

If there's some hard constraint that “passwords must contain at least one special character” (which is a questionable way to make passwords selected by average humans more secure, and it completely wrong for randomly generated passwords), then you can't simply use a random password, because there's a chance that it'll happen not to contain any character in a required class. If you reject passwords that don't meet the constraint, you're reducing the security of the password. Instead, make the password longer, e.g.

</dev/urandom dd ibs=1 obs=1 count=9 | uuencode -m - | sed '2!d; s/$/-Aa1/'

If you need the password to be memorable, that's a different problem. The best memorable passwords are passphrases.

  • can this stdd in and out be removed please sol10 # dd if=/dev/urandom ibs=1 obs=1 count=9 | uuencode -m - | sed '2!d; s/$/-Aa1/' 9+0 records in 9+0 records out A9xk0r4MvMCY-Aa1 sol10 # – judi May 8 '18 at 14:06
  • Thanks Much , this will eliminate the dd command output. dd if=/dev/urandom ibs=1 obs=1 count=9 2>/dev/null | uuencode -m - | sed '2!d; s/$/-Aa1/' – judi May 8 '18 at 14:20

You have perl in Solaris, it helps:

perl -e 'print[0..9,a..z,A..Z]->[rand 62]for 1..10'

With special characters it will be:

perl -e 'print [0..9,a..z,A..Z,qw{- _ / & ?}]->[rand 67]for 0..10'
  • Thanks - but there is no special characters. sol10 # perl -e 'print[0..9,a..z,A..Z]->[rand 62]for 1..10' e9RKUJiss3 sol10 # perl -e 'print[0..9,a..z,A..Z]->[rand 62]for 1..10' zLdxvTqlJT sol10 # perl -e 'print[0..9,a..z,A..Z]->[rand 62]for 1..10' AiaiDubgye sol10 # perl -e 'print[0..9,a..z,A..Z]->[rand 62]for 1..10' lJxiV2iDwY sol10 # – judi May 8 '18 at 12:01
  • You may add special characters in such way: perl -e 'print [a..z,A..Z,0..9,qw{- _ / & ?}]->[rand 67]for 0..10' – Sasha Golikov May 8 '18 at 12:24
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    No, Perl's rand is not suitable to generate a password. This answer is insecure. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 8 '18 at 12:31

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