apg

APG(1)                             User Manual                            APG(1)



NAME
       apg - generates several random passwords


SYNOPSIS
       apg [-a algorithm] [-M mode] [-E char_string] [-n num_of_pass] [-m
       min_pass_len] [-x max_pass_len] [-r dictfile] [-b filter_file] [-p
       min_substr_len] [-s] [-c cl_seed] [-d] [-y] [-l] [-t] [-q] [-h] [-v]

DESCRIPTION
       apg generates several random passwords. It uses several password
       generation algorithms (currently two) and a built-in pseudo random number
       generator.

       Default algorithm is pronounceable password generation algorithm designed
       by Morrie Gasser and described in A Random Word Generator For
       Pronounceable Passwords National Technical Information Service (NTIS) AD-
       A-017676.  The original paper is very old and had never been put online,
       so I have to use NIST implementation described in FIPS-181.

       Another algorithm is simple random character generation algorithm, but it
       uses four user-defined symbol sets to produce random password. It means
       that user can choose type of symbols that should appear in password.
       Symbol sets are: numeric symbol set (0,...,9) , capital letters symbol
       set (A,...,Z) , small letters symbol set (a,...,z) and special symbols
       symbol set (#,@,!,...).

       Built-in pseudo random number generator is an implementation of algorithm
       described in Appendix C of ANSI X9.17 or RFC1750 with exception that it
       uses CAST or SHA-1 instead of Triple DES.  It uses local time with
       precision of microseconds (see gettimeofday(2)) and /dev/random (if
       available) to produce initial random seed.

       apg also have the ability to check generated password quality using
       dictionary. You can use this ability if you specify command-line options
       -r dictfile or -b filtername where dictfile is the dictionary file name
       and filtername is the name of Bloom filter file. In that dictionary you
       may place words (one per line) that should not appear as generated
       passwords. For example: user names, common words, etc. You even can use
       one of the dictionaries that come with dictionary password crackers.
       Bloom filter file should be created with apgbfm(1) utility included in
       apg distribution. In future releases I plan to implement some other
       techniques to check passwords (like pattern check) just to make life
       easier.


OPTIONS
   Password generation modes options
       -a algorithm
              use algorithm for password generation.
              0 - (default) pronounceable password generation
              1 - random character password generation

       -n num_of_pass
              generate num_of_pass number of passwords. Default is 6.

       -m min_pass_len
              generate password with minimum length min_pass_len.  If
              min_pass_len > max_pass_len then max_pass_len = min_pass_len.
              Default minimum password length is 8.

       -x max_pass_len
              generate password with maximum length max_pass_len.  If
              min_pass_len > max_pass_len then max_pass_len = min_pass_len.
              Default maximum password length is 10.

       -M mode
              Use symbolsets specified with mode for password generation.  mode
              is a text string consisting of characters S, s, N, n, C, c, L, l.
              Where:

              S      generator must use special symbol set for every generated
                     password.

              s      generator should use special symbol set for password
                     generation.

              N      generator must use numeral symbol set for every generated
                     password.

              n      generator should use numeral symbol set for password
                     generation.

              C      generator must use capital symbol set for every generated
                     password.

              c      generator should use capital symbol set for password
                     generation.

              L      generator must use small letters symbol set for every
                     generated password (always present if pronounceable
                     password generation algorithm is used).

              l      generator should use small letters symbol set for password
                     generation.

              R,r    not supported any more. Use -E char_string option instead.
              mode can not be more than 4 characters in length.

              Note:
              Usage of L, M, N, C will slow down password generation process.

              Examples:
              -M sncl or -M SNCL or -M Cn

       -E char_string
              exclude characters in char_string from password generation process
              (in pronounceable password generation mode you can not exclude
              small letters). To include special symbols that can be recognized
              by shell (apostrophe, quotes, dollar sign, etc.) in char_string
              use the backslashed versions.

              Examples:

              Command apg -a 1 -M n -n 3 -m 8 -E 23456789 will generate a set of
              passwords that will look like this
              10100110
              01111000
              11011101

              Command apg -a 1 -M nc -n 3 -m 26 -E GHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ will
              generate a set of passwords that will look like this
              16A1653CD4DE5E7BD9584A3476
              C8F78E06944AFD57FB9CB882BC
              8C8DF37CD792D36D056BBD5002

   Password quality control options
       -r dictfile
              check generated passwords for their appearance in dictfile

       -b filter_file
              check generated passwords for their appearance in filter_file.
              filter_file should be created with apgbfm(1) utility.

       -p min_substr_len
              this option tells apg(1) to check every substring of the generated
              password for appearance in filter_file. If any of such substrings
              would be found in the filter_file then generated password would be
              rejected and apg(1) will generate another one.  min_substr_len
              specifies minimum substring length to check.  This option is
              active only if -b option is defined.

   Pseudo random number generator options
       -s     ask user for random sequence for password generation

       -c cl_seed
              use cl_seed as a random seed for password generation. I use it
              when i have to generate passwords in a shell script.

   Password output options
       -d     do NOT use any delimiters between generated passwords. I use it
              when i have to generate passwords in a shell script.

       -y     print generated passwords and crypted passwords (see man crypt(3))

       -q     quiet mode (do not print warnings)

       -l     spell genetated passwords. Useful when you want to read generated
              password by telephone.
              WARNING: Think twice before read your password by phone.

       -t     print pronunciation for generated pronounceable password

       -h     print help information and exit

       -v     print version information and exit

DEFAULT OPTIONS
       apg -a 0 -M sncl -n 6 -x 10 -m 8 (new style)

       If you want to generate really secure passwords, you should use option
       -s. To simplify apg usage, you can write a small shell script. For
       example:
       [begin]----> pwgen.sh
       #!/bin/sh
       /usr/local/bin/apg -m 8 -x 12 -s
       [ end ]----> pwgen.sh

EXIT CODE
       On successful completion of its task, apg will complete with exit code 0.
       An exit code of -1 indicates an error occurred.  Textual errors are
       written to the standard error stream.

DIAGNOSTICS
       If /dev/random is not available, apg will display a message about it.

FILES
       None.

BUGS
       None.  If you've found one, please send bug description to the author.

SEE ALSO
       apgd(8), apgbfm(1)

AUTHOR
       Adel I. Mirzazhanov, <a-del@iname.com>
       Project home page: http://www.adel.nursat.kz/apg/



Automated Password Generator       2003 Aug 04                            APG(1)