Well, this method would be applicable to almost every unix variant and not just debian boxes :-D.
When creating new users and assigning them default passwords if you want to ensure that they are random and yet easy to remember, you would want to way to generate random passwords that can be pronounced easily. Thankfully, on GNU/Linux we already have a command for generating such passwords:
$ dpkg -l |grep "apg" ii apg 2.2.3.dfsg.1-2 Automated Password Generator - Standalone version ## In case you don't have it installed: ## $ apt-get install apg
apg, when executed askes you enter some random data. apg uses the first 8 characters and spits out 6 candidate passwords that you can choose from. More importantly, apg also prints out the “phonetic” equivalent of the passwords.
$ apg Please enter some random data (only first 8 are significant) (eg. your old password):>dsfsdrtw45345 kushJiv7 (kush-Jiv-SEVEN) Nejusjev0 (Nej-us-jev-ZERO) Eukyilt4 (Euk-yilt-FOUR) JogTeit8 (Jog-Teit-EIGHT) 1OjRofGev9 (ONE-Oj-Rof-Gev-NINE) Napwolhel1 (Nap-wol-hel-ONE)