In Linux I can create a SHA1 password hash using sha1pass mypassword. Is there a similar command line tool which lets me create sha512 hashes? Same question for Bcrypt and PBKDF2.

  • Don't you mean sha1sum? – user16144 Oct 17 '12 at 18:43
  • 1
    @Tichodroma no, there is actually a sha1pass command, part of the syslinux-common package on Debian. – derobert Oct 17 '12 at 18:44
  • 2
    There's a sha512sum command that's part of coreutils, and similarly openssl sha512 -- but neither does the extra stuff that sha1pass does. – Keith Thompson Oct 17 '12 at 20:37

11 Answers 11


Yes, you're looking for mkpasswd, which (at least on Debian) is part of the whois package. Don't ask why...

anthony@Zia:~$ mkpasswd -m help
Available methods:
des     standard 56 bit DES-based crypt(3)
md5     MD5
sha-256 SHA-256
sha-512 SHA-512

Unfortunately, my version at least doesn't do bcrypt. If your C library does, it should (and the manpage gives a -R option to set the strength). -R also works on sha-512, but I'm not sure if its PBKDF-2 or not.

If you need to generate bcrypt passwords, you can do it fairly simply with the Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt Perl module.


On any of the Red Hat distros such as Fedora, CentOS, or RHEL the command mkpasswd doesn't include the same set of switches as the version typically included with Debian/Ubuntu.

NOTE: The command mkpasswd is actually part of the expect package, and should probably be avoided. You can find out what package it belongs to with either of these commands.

$ yum whatprovides "*/mkpasswd"
$ repoquery -q --file */mkpasswd


$ repoquery -q --file */mkpasswd

Both of these methods are superior to using rpm since the packages do not have to be installed to locate */mkpasswd.


To work around this you can use the following Python or Perl one-liners to generate SHA-512 passwords. Take note that these are salted:

Python (>= 3.3)

$ python -c 'import crypt,getpass; print(crypt.crypt(getpass.getpass(), crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512)))'

-or scripted-

$ python -c 'import crypt; print(crypt.crypt("somesecret", crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512)))'

Python (2.x or 3.x)

$ python -c "import crypt, getpass, pwd; \
             print(crypt.crypt('password', '\$6\$saltsalt\$'))"


Note: $6$ designates sha512. Support for this method of specifying the algorithm is dependent on support in OS level crypt(3) library function (usually in libcrypt). It is not dependent on python version.


$ perl -e 'print crypt("password","\$6\$saltsalt\$") . "\n"'

In these examples the password is the string "password" and the salt is "saltsalt". Both examples are using $6$ which denotes that you want crypt to use SHA-512.

  • 3
    For the python one-liner, you can use crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512) to generate the salt instead of using a fixed one. – Jake Cobb Aug 26 '14 at 0:15
  • 2
    @JakeCobb crypt.mksalt is only available in Python 3.x – Riccardo Murri Sep 24 '14 at 7:41
  • 3
    Before typing a clear-text password at the command line make sure you have "ignorespace" set in HISTCONTROL (i.e., do this first on CentOS/RHEL: echo 'export HISTCONTROL="ignoredups:ignorespace"' > /etc/profile.d/histcontrol.sh && source /etc/profile.d/histcontrol.sh). Otherwise, it'll get saved in your ~/.bash_history. – Patrick Dec 3 '14 at 19:38
  • 4
    the perl (and presumably the python) use the system function "crypt". So they aren't portable, they require a crypt function that understands the requested hash type. The OSX crypt doesn't - it just gives me back an old-style DES-encrypted string. – Dan Pritts Apr 13 '16 at 21:13
  • 1
    @RiccardoMurri I have Python 2.7.5 and have access to crypt.mksalt on CentOS 7.1 – user12345 Jul 16 '16 at 22:09

You can use the doveadm utility, which is included in the dovecot package.

doveadm pw -s SHA512-CRYPT

Result example:


Just cut {SHA512-CRYPT} and you'll get your SHA512 hashed string.

  • Doesn't work for me as a regular user: doveadm(jotik): Fatal: Error reading configuration: stat(/etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf) failed: Permission denied (euid=1000(jotik) egid=100(users) missing +x perm: /etc/dovecot, we're not in group 97(dovecot), dir owned by 0:97 mode=0750) – jotik Mar 11 '19 at 6:13
  • "Permission denied" is not related to the original question. The default dovecot setting is not to let end-user read any files in the /etc/dovecot subdirectory, particularily users (and password) file. Become root, and then you can see those files. – John Greene Jan 14 '20 at 18:02
  • The point is that doveadm cannot be run by a regular user, so this command is not a solution to the original question for someone who isn't (or cannot become) root. That someone typically isn't interested in reading any files in the /etc/dovecot directory, and shouldn't need to just in order to generate a password hash. – Tilman Schmidt Nov 4 '20 at 15:31

OpenSSL has

openssl passwd -6

Help says:

$ openssl passwd --help
Usage: passwd [options]
Valid options are:
 -6                  SHA512-based password algorithm

For consistent output you can specify the salt:

openssl passwd -6 -salt <YOUR_SALT>

Output is something similar to:


with: 6 between "$" indicating the algorithm ("-6" above), followed by YOUR_SALT and "$", finishing with the SHA512 sum.

  • (For the record, it looks like this version of openssl is not available in Debian 9) – Joril Aug 1 '20 at 11:03

Run this command:

$ /sbin/grub-crypt --sha-512

then enter the word you want hashed.

  • -bash: /sbin/grub-crypt: No such file or directory – Will Sheppard Nov 3 '17 at 10:51
  • I don't believe grub is on c7 so you can use: python -c 'import crypt,getpass; print(crypt.crypt(getpass.getpass(),crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512)))' – ucemike Nov 3 '17 at 14:37

To expand on @slm's workarounds above, if you're worried about someone getting a hold of your bash history and seeing the plain text password, you can insert raw_input() in the python statement where the salt and password fields go so it prompts you for them. The text isn't masked while you're typing, but it won't show up in your bash history. You could also start the command with a leading space, but I always forget to do that.

python -c "import crypt, getpass, pwd; print crypt.crypt(raw_input(), '\$6\$' + raw_input() + '\$')"
  • 2
    You can also configure bash to not record commands prefixed with a space adding HISTCONTROL=ignorespace to your .bashrc file. When you run a command you want to exclude from your history simply type a space then the actual command. – theillien Apr 10 '16 at 3:05

sha512 htpasswd

Command which asks for user and password and generates a regular htpasswd-file:

python -c 'import crypt,getpass; print(getpass.getpass("Name: ")+":"+crypt.crypt(getpass.getpass(),crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512)))' >> htpasswd

Works with all python versions > 2.5.


If your using the Python (>= 2.7) method from sim's answer and want to confirm your password before it generates - because you fat finger passwords...

$ python -c 'import crypt,getpass;pw=getpass.getpass(); print(crypt.crypt(pw), crypt.mksalt(crypt.METHOD_SHA512) if (pw==getpass.getpass("Confirm: ")) else exit())'
  • In the Nov 29, 2017 version of this answer, it says this works for python 2.7 (or later). The crypt module of python2.7 does not have mksalt(). Also I think you want the crypt.mksalt() call as the 2nd arg to crypt.crypt() (misplaced close paren?). – Juan Mar 5 '18 at 14:33

openssl version "OpenSSL 1.1.1” on Linux and openssl version "LibreSSL 2.6.5” on MacOS support md5_crypt.

Just run and enter password:

openssl passwd -crypt
Verifying - Password:

or provide the plain text password directly to the CLI:

openssl password -crypt <plain_text_password_goes_here>
  • 2
    crypt still might result in insecure classic DES implementation, taking only the first eight chars of a password. You can try that with passwd -crypt -salt oo multiple times - first using aaaaaaaa (8xa) and then using aaaaaaaaaa (10xa) - proofed when both lead to same password hash – Oliver Hader May 27 '20 at 14:21


I wrote a simple application in Go that allows to generate PBKDF2 hash, as OpenSSL does not provide a commandline tool for that. It supports sha1, sha256, sha512 and md5.

You can build it yourself, or download released binaries in "release" section.


The usage is very simple:

gpbkdf2 --passphrase=my-secret-passphrase --salt=my-secret-salt --digest-algorithm=sha512 --digest-rounds=10000 --length=128

You can use sha512sum:

echo "password" | sha512sum
  • 27
    This answer is incorrect. The command will not generate a valid SHA-512 password hash. It will simply calculate the checksum of the string password\n (note that there is also a newline in the end). Unix password hashes are salted and include a hash version code between two "$" symbols. See the answer by @slm. – zorlem Nov 27 '13 at 0:05
  • More specifically, the problem is that while the password is somewhat obfuscated, this method is vulnerable to a en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_table attack. – DepressedDaniel Feb 18 '17 at 21:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.