Created: 2008-12-01 01:36
Updated: 2016-05-08 18:10



A command line password generator.

genpwd allows you to use a master password to generate derived passwords, which you can then use for any service that requires a password. Since you never expose the master password, this means that if any derived password is compromised, none of your other passwords are.

This also allows you to generate strong passwords from a weak master password.


  • Ruby 1.8.7 or higher

However, earlier versions of ruby are likely to work.


From Source

With rake installed, run

rake install

to have the genpwd binary copied to $HOME/bin and bash completion copied to /etc/bash_completion.d

Once installed, be sure to edit ~/.genpwd/password with your master password.


Passwords are generated from 3-tuples consisting of key, alphabet and size. Alphabet and size have sensible defaults, so all that is needed is to specify the key.

Use whatever key convention you prefer. A suggested one is user@servce. So if you have a username 'foo' at service '', you could use the key ''.

To add a key and generate a new password, run the following command

genpwd --add KEY

To add a password of size N

genpwd --size=SIZE --add KEY

To add a password with a restricted alphabet (note, ascii characters and digits are always included)



genpwd --alpha="[]{}"

To retrieve existing passwords, run the command:

genpwd KEY

Note that it is not necessry to specify either --alpha or --size, even if the password was initially created with those options.

If you have bash completion installed, keys will be autocompleted. So, with the prompt reading


Hitting tab should display a list of keys with normal bash completion.


Feedback, suggestions, bugs, etc. gratefully accepted at

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies Learn more