Unable to Install mkpasswd on CentOS 6.4

I was surprised to find the mkpasswd utility missing from my new installation of CentOS 6.4.

Yum has a feature called whatprovides, which can be used to find out which installable package provides some feature, utility or file. The below demonstrates its use. You just need to prefix ‘*/’ to the utility name that your searching for.

[root@server ~]# yum whatprovides */mkpasswd
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
base/filelists_db                                                                                                                     | 5.9 MB     00:00     
extras/filelists_db                                                                                                                   |  10 kB     00:00     
updates/filelists_db                                                                                                                  | 2.8 MB     00:00     
expect-5.44.1.15-4.el6.x86_64 : A program-script interaction and testing utility
Repo        : base
Matched from:
Filename    : /usr/bin/mkpasswd

[root@server ~]# 

The output shows us that the expect package contains the mkpasswd utility.

[root@server ~]# yum install expect

Now I can quickly and easily generate strong passwords from the Linux command line. For example, the following command produces a password using the default set of arguments.

[root@server ~]# mkpasswd
N5cZ8v*dq

A default password is 9 characters long. Each password will have at least 2 digits (numbers); 2 upper and 2 lowercase alphabetic characters; plus 1 special character, which in our example is an asterisk (‘*‘).