Peter Peter - 8 months ago 27
PHP Question

Generate random 5 characters string

I want to create exact 5 random characters string with least possibility of getting duplicated. What would be the best way to do it? Thanks.

$rand = substr(md5(microtime()),rand(0,26),5);

Would be my best guess--Unless you're looking for special characters, too:

$seed = str_split('abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz'
                 .'0123456789!@#$%^&*()'); // and any other characters
shuffle($seed); // probably optional since array_is randomized; this may be redundant
$rand = '';
foreach (array_rand($seed, 5) as $k) $rand .= $seed[$k];


And, for one based on the clock (fewer collisions since it's incremental):

function incrementalHash($len = 5){
  $charset = "0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
  $base = strlen($charset);
  $result = '';

  $now = explode(' ', microtime())[1];
  while ($now >= $base){
    $i = $now % $base;
    $result = $charset[$i] . $result;
    $now /= $base;
  return substr($result, -5);

Note: incremental means easier to guess; If you're using this as a salt or a verification token, don't. A salt (now) of "WCWyb" means 5 seconds from now it's "WCWyg")