How to generate a IOTA SEED securely

Creating A Seed, Safely

First and foremost, do not create your seed on a website simply because it appears high up on a list of search results. Better yet, do not use an online seed generator !

Choosing a seed is a simple process, in theory: randomly write down uppercase letters (A-Z) and the number 9 on a piece of paper until you have 81 characters written. That’s it, you’re done!

Unfortunately, humans are generally bad at choosing things randomly, so we can use a few tools to increase the randomness of our seed. If you are on Linux or MacOS, you’re in luck! Creating a seed safely and securely on Linux or MacOS takes just a single terminal command. If you’re not comfortable with the terminal, don’t worry, you only need to copy and paste a single command to create the seed.

Linux:

cat /dev/urandom |tr -dc A-Z9|head -c${1:-81}

Mac OSX:
cat /dev/urandom |LC_ALL=C tr -dc ‘A-Z9’ | fold -w 81 | head -n 1

Remember, your IOTA seed is the key to your safe, and you should always take the extra step to make sure your key is secure. Copy your seed somewhere safe (like an encrypted password database, e.g. KeePass), and after you have copied it, randomly change at least 10 letters (remember: uppercase A-Z and the number 9 only). Save your changes. If you’re writing the seed down, change 10 letters as you write.

If you are on Windows, you can use KeePass directly. Set the password generator to use the symbols A-Z and the number 9, and set a password length of 81. Again, make sure to change at least 10 letters before saving and using the seed.

You can also use KeePassX on Linux or MacOS, but at the time of this writing there is no way to limit your character choices to A-Z and 9. Instead use “A-Z” and then randomly change at least 10 letters and randomly change some letters to the number 9.

The purpose of this somewhat more complicated routine should be clear by now. After doing these steps, you can be 100% sure, or as close to it as technically possible, that:

  • Your seed is sufficiently random.
  • You are the only person who has ever had access to your seed.

From now on, keeping your seed safe is up to you and you alone.