#password #diceware #password-generator #correct #setup #horse


A crate providing secure passphrase generation based on a wordlist

12 releases

0.1.1 Jul 20, 2022
0.1.0 Jan 4, 2021
0.0.10 Mar 16, 2020
0.0.9 Dec 5, 2019
0.0.1 Aug 1, 2018

#517 in Cryptography

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MIT license

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Note: this crate is still a work in progress, APIs might change until stabilisation

Rust library: Correct Horse Battery Staple

A secure, easy to use, configurable and extendable passphrase generation library based on a wordlist, generally known as diceware.


The name chbs is short for the well known "correct horse battery staple" password which originates from the XKCD comic shown above.

This library uses cryptographically secure randomization, and may be used for generating secret passphrases*.


  • Simple and secure passphrase generation
  • Configurable generation schemes to meet your requirements
  • Use built-in or custom wordlists
  • Calculate passphrase entropy
  • Easy to use abstracted API
  • Very extendable, to set it up it any way you like


  • Rust 1.42 or higher (with std)


The following things need to be looked at before stabilization:

  • Use secure strings?
  • Additional stylers and configuration options:
    • Add numbers
    • Add special characters
    • Different separators
    • Generated words (based on character sequences)
    • Replace characters with similar looking sequences (a to 4, o to ())


As the passphrase generation system in this crate is thoroughly abstracted it is important to understand how the concepts used in this crate work.

Here is what is required for passphrase generation:

  • A Scheme defines how a passphrase is generated. Passphrases are only generated through a scheme.
  • A Scheme contains components which represents how the passphrase is built up and styled. Four kinds of components exist, defining the passphrase generation steps. For some kinds one must be defined, for other kinds any number is fine:
    1. WordSetProvider (1 required): provides a list of words to use in a passphrase.
    2. WordStyler (>=0 required): styles passphrase words, for example, to capitalize.
    3. PhraseBuilder (1 required): builds a phrase from a set of passphrase words.
    4. PhraseStyler (>=0 required): styles a whole passphrase.

Things to understand:

  • Passphrase generation schemes are commonly created by using a configuration structure. Such as structure will provide various configurable fields, and builds a corresponding scheme based on it for passphrase generation.

The usual steps for generating a passphrase:

  • A configuration structure is built and configured, such as BasicConfig.
  • The configuration struct creates a corresponding passphrase generation scheme.
  • The scheme is used to generate as many passphrases as needed.
  • Instead, the passphrase() helper method may be used to generate a passphrase with zero configuration for ease of use.

See, it isn't too difficult, but allows great extensibility. You probably won't use most of what this crate provides.
Take a look at BasicConfig to see how to configure your first passphrase generator.

Additional good-to-know things:

  • This crate provides a selection of components for specific tasks, custom components may be built.
  • This crate provides a WordList struct to hold a static wordlist, that may use a built-in wordlist or loads a wordlist from a specified file.
  • A WordSampler may be constructed based on a WordList to allow randomized word sampling in an uniform manner. Such a sampler is usually what is used as word provider in a configuration struct.


Here are some basic examples on how to use this crate.

Add chbs as dependency in your Cargo.toml first:

chbs = "0.0.8"

Generate a passphrase with zero configuration using a helper function applying library defaults (passphrase.rs):

extern crate chbs;
use chbs::passphrase;

println!("Passphrase: {:?}", passphrase());

Run it using cargo run --example passphrase.

Generating a passphrase with configuration is recommended, here is a basic example (passphrase_config.rs):

extern crate chbs;
use chbs::{config::BasicConfig, prelude::*, probability::Probability};

// Build a custom configuration to:
let mut config = BasicConfig::default();
config.words = 8;
config.separator = "-".into();
config.capitalize_first = Probability::from(0.33);
config.capitalize_words = Probability::half();
let mut scheme = config.to_scheme();

println!("Passphrase: {:?}", scheme.generate());
println!("Entropy: {:?}", scheme.entropy().bits());

Run it using cargo run --example passphrase_config.

Use a word sampler to generate an infinite number of random words based on a wordlist (sampler.rs):

extern crate chbs;
use chbs::word::WordList;

let words = WordList::default();
let sampler = words.sampler().into_iter();

for word in sampler.take(8) {
    println!("Sampled word: {:?}", word);

Run it using cargo run --example sampler.

See all examples in the ./examples directory.

Additional notes

  • This crate is still in development, and should thus be used with care
  • No warranty is provided for the quality of the passwords or passphrases generated through this library
  • Entropy calculations may be faulty at this moment


This project is released under the MIT license. Check out the LICENSE file for more information.


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