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MCOOKIE(1) User Commands MCOOKIE(1)

mcookie - generate magic cookies for xauth

mcookie [options]

mcookie generates a 128-bit random hexadecimal number for use with the X authority system. Typical usage:

xauth add :0 . `mcookie`

The "random" number generated is actually the MD5 message digest of random information coming from one of the sources getrandom() system call, /dev/urandom, /dev/random, or the libc pseudo-random functions, in this preference order. See also the option --file.

-f, --file file
Use this file as an additional source of randomness (for example /dev/urandom). When file is '-', characters are read from standard input.
-m, --max-size number
Read from file only this number of bytes. This option is meant to be used when reading additional randomness from a file or device.
The number argument may be followed by the multiplicative suffixes KiB=1024, MiB=1024*1024, and so on for GiB, TiB, PiB, EiB, ZiB and YiB (the "iB" is optional, e.g., "K" has the same meaning as "KiB") or the suffixes KB=1000, MB=1000*1000, and so on for GB, TB, PB, EB, ZB and YB.
-v, --verbose
Inform where randomness originated, with amount of entropy read from each source.
-V, --version
Display version information and exit.
-h, --help
Display help text and exit.

It is assumed that none of the randomness sources will block.

/dev/urandom
/dev/random

md5sum(1), X(1), xauth(1), rand(3)

The mcookie command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel Archive.
December 2014 util-linux