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)