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Initial version.
author Bernhard Reiter <>
date Fri, 19 Feb 2016 15:28:46 +0100
children 00ed7df30fe4
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#!/usr/bin/env python3
"""Create a passphrase from a few random words. DRAFT

Relies on the entropy of python's
    random.SystemRandom class
        which (according to the documentation) calls os.urandom()
        which (according to the documentation) calls the operating system
           specific randomness source which "should be unpredictable 
            enough for cryptographic applications"

  * Python v>=3.2
  * a dictionary, Ding's trans-de-en by default.
    E.g. on a Debian/Ubuntu system in package "trans-de-en".
    or from

Uses a hardcodes filepath and selected language.
Search for **customize** below to change it.

Copyright 2016 by Intevation GmbH.
Author: 2016-01-21 Bernhard E. Reiter <>

This file is Free Software under the Apache 2.0 license and thus
comes without any warranty (to extend permissible under applicable law).

import math
import re
import sys

from random import SystemRandom
_srandom = SystemRandom()

tainted = False   # to be set if we find a hint that the passphrase may be weak

def buildDictionary():
    """Build up a dictionary of unique words, calculate stats."""
    global tainted
    d = []

    # dictionary for testing
    #d = ["abc", "aBc", "cde", "efg", "hij", "blubber", "jikf", "zug", "lmf", "opq"]

    # Using the dictionary from Ding **customize**
    d = readDingDict(filename="/usr/share/trans/de-en", useLeft=True)

    ## for debugging purpuses, dump dictionary
    #dumpfilename = "ddump.txt"
    #print("Writing out {}.".format(dumpfilename))
    #with open(dumpfilename, "w") as f:
    #    for i in d:
    #        f.write("{}\n".format(i))

    # Print some stats on the dictionary to be used
    dl = len(d)
    print("Found {:d} dictionary entries".format(dl))
    if dl < 2000:
        print("!Your dictionary is below 2k entries, that is quite small!")
        tainted = True

    print("|= Number of words |= possibilities |")
    for i in range(1,5):
        print("|               {:2d} |    2^{:4.1f}      |".format(
                                    i, math.log(dl**i,2)))
    return d

def readDingDict(filename = "/usr/share/trans/de-en", useLeft=False):
    """Read dictionary with unique words from file in Ding format.

    useLeft: Boolean to control which language to use

    TODO: add option to use both languages for people that speak them both?

    dset = set() #using the datatype 'set' to aviod duplicates

    splitter = re.compile(r"""\ \|\  # first pattern  ' | '
                           |;\       # second pattern '; '
                           |(?<=\S)/(?=\S)  # 3.:    '\' surrounded by chars
                           |\s+      # by whitespace

    print("Reading entries from {}.".format(filename), end='')
    counter = 0 # for progress or stopping early
    with open(filename, "r") as f:
        for line in f:
            if line[0] == '#': continue

            # languages are separated by " :: "
            p = line.partition(" :: ")
            languageEntry = p[0] if useLeft else p[2]

            for word in splitter.split(languageEntry):
                word = word.strip('(",.)\'!:;').rstrip('/')
                if len(word) > 2 and not word[0] in '[{/':

            #TODO: check for very common words and remove them?

            counter += 1
            ## stop early when debugging
            #if counter > 10: break
            if not counter % 10000:
                    print('.', end='')

    return list(dset)

def main():
    global tainted
    dictionary = buildDictionary()

    howMany = 4

    # use a dictionary with lower case words for a simple check if
    # our random source is okay
    print("\nGenerated passphrase with {} randomly selected words:\n".format(
    print("    ", end='')
    words = {}
    for x in range(howMany):
        word = _srandom.choice(dictionary)
        words[word.lower]= True
        print(word, end='\n    ')

    if len(words) < howMany:
        print("! Your random generator is weak")
        print("! or you are being very lucky.")
        tainted = True

    if tainted:
        print("!!! Don't use the resulting passphrase !!!")

if __name__ == "__main__":
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