Generate UUIDs on the Command Line2016-09-05
UUIDs are becoming more popular in distributed systems, and can increasingly be found in databases and applications.
Sometimes you just need a quick way to generate a UUID, be it for writing a unit test, manually testing a function or creating some stub data.
Here are some methods for creating random (version 4) UUIDs straight from the command line:
uuidgen (Linux and OS X)
# Single UUID: uuidgen -r # 100 UUIDs: seq 100 | xargs -I -- uuidgen -r
The uuidgen command is available by default on OS X, and should be on most
On Debian systems you need the package
uuid-runtime, on Arch
Linux uuid proc file (Linux only)
The Linux kernel has the special proc file
which will yield a new UUID each time it is read.
# Single UUID: cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/uuid # 100 UUIDs: seq 100 | xargs -I -- cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/uuid
Fortunately, Python has the uuid module in it's standard library, so this method will work on any system with a Python installation.
# Single UUID: python -c "import uuid; print(uuid.uuid4());" # 100 UUIDs: python -c "import uuid; print('\n'.join([str(uuid.uuid4()) for _ in range(0,100)]));"
As a measure of last resort, if you have CURL or wget available, you can use the website uuidgenerator.net, which provides an API for generating UUIDs.
# Single UUID: curl https://www.uuidgenerator.net/api/version4 # 100 UUIDs: curl https://www.uuidgenerator.net/api/version4/100