Readable random passwords with jot

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My handwriting is hardly readable. Without the context of words, several pairs of characters are almost indistguishable, e.g., O and 0, u and n, or 1 and l. Yet, I sometimes need to come up with and write down strong passwords to be deciphered by my future self, or some unlucky other person. That’s why I created a small script to generate random passwords specifically intended for handwriting.

I called the script jotpass because it wraps the jot(1) utility shipped with OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and others. By default, it prints a random sequence of 12 dash-separated groups of four unambiguous ASCII letters and digits each. However, you can change the alphabet, the number and width of groups, and the separator as described in the man page. For example:

$ jotpass

$ jotpass -a 0123456789abcdef -g 8 -w 2 -s ' ' -v
49 1b 6e b0 e2 fc 16 b1
The generated password has an entropy of 64 bits.

You can download a standard release tarball here. The script targets OpenBSD, but it should work on other BSD variants alike. Feel free to drop me a mail if you have any feedback.