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Random String Generator Returning Same String


Question

I've developed a random string generator but it's not behaving quite as I'm hoping. My goal is to be able to run this twice and generate two distinct four character random strings. However, it just generates one four character random string twice.

Here's the code and an example of its output:

private string RandomString(int size)
{
    StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
    Random random = new Random();
    char ch;
    for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
    {
        ch = Convert.ToChar(Convert.ToInt32(Math.Floor(26 * random.NextDouble() + 65)));                 
        builder.Append(ch);
    }

    return builder.ToString();
}

// get 1st random string 
string Rand1 = RandomString(4);

// get 2nd random string 
string Rand2 = RandomString(4);

// create full rand string
string docNum = Rand1 + "-" + Rand2;

...and the output looks like this: UNTE-UNTE ...but it should look something like this UNTE-FWNU

How can I ensure two distinctly random strings?

2014/03/28
1
223
3/28/2014 4:16:13 PM

Accepted Answer

You're making the Random instance in the method, which causes it to return the same values when called in quick succession. I would do something like this:

private static Random random = new Random((int)DateTime.Now.Ticks);//thanks to McAden
private string RandomString(int size)
    {
        StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
        char ch;
        for (int i = 0; i < size; i++)
        {
            ch = Convert.ToChar(Convert.ToInt32(Math.Floor(26 * random.NextDouble() + 65)));                 
            builder.Append(ch);
        }

        return builder.ToString();
    }

// get 1st random string 
string Rand1 = RandomString(4);

// get 2nd random string 
string Rand2 = RandomString(4);

// creat full rand string
string docNum = Rand1 + "-" + Rand2;

(modified version of your code)

2009/07/13
307
7/13/2009 10:49:28 PM


//A very Simple implementation

using System.IO;   
public static string RandomStr()

{
    string rStr = Path.GetRandomFileName();
    rStr = rStr.Replace(".", ""); // For Removing the .
    return rStr;
}

//Now just call RandomStr() Method

2010/11/09

As long as you are using Asp.Net 2.0 or greater, you can also use the library call- System.Web.Security.Membership.GeneratePassword, however it will include special characters.

To get 4 random characters with minimum of 0 special characters-

Membership.GeneratePassword(4, 0)
2012/06/12

Just for people stopping by and what to have a random string in just one single line of code

int yourRandomStringLength = 12; //maximum: 32
Guid.NewGuid().ToString("N").Substring(0, yourRandomStringLength);

PS: Please keep in mind that yourRandomStringLength cannot exceed 32 as Guid has max length of 32.

2012/01/18

This solution is an extension for a Random class.

Usage

class Program
{
    private static Random random = new Random(); 

    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        random.NextString(10); // "cH*%I\fUWH0"
        random.NextString(10); // "Cw&N%27+EM"
        random.NextString(10); // "0LZ}nEJ}_-"
        random.NextString();   // "kFmeget80LZ}nEJ}_-"
    }
}

Implementation

public static class RandomEx
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Generates random string of printable ASCII symbols of a given length
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="r">instance of the Random class</param>
    /// <param name="length">length of a random string</param>
    /// <returns>Random string of a given length</returns>
    public static string NextString(this Random r, int length)
    {
        var data = new byte[length];
        for (int i = 0; i < data.Length; i++)
        {
            // All ASCII symbols: printable and non-printable
            // data[i] = (byte)r.Next(0, 128);
            // Only printable ASCII
            data[i] = (byte)r.Next(32, 127);
        }
        var encoding = new ASCIIEncoding();
        return encoding.GetString(data);
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Generates random string of printable ASCII symbols
    /// with random length of 10 to 20 chars
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="r">instance of the Random class</param>
    /// <returns>Random string of a random length between 10 and 20 chars</returns>
    public static string NextString(this Random r)
    {
        int length  = r.Next(10, 21);
        return NextString(r, length);
    }
}
2014/03/25

Yet another version of string generator. Simple, without fancy math and magic digits. But with some magic string which specifies allowed characters.

Update: I made generator static, so it will not return same string when called multiple times. However this code is not thread-safe and is definitely not cryptographically secure.

For password generation System.Security.Cryptography.RNGCryptoServiceProvider should be used.

private Random _random = new Random(Environment.TickCount);

public string RandomString(int length)
{
    string chars = "0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
    StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder(length);

    for (int i = 0; i < length; ++i)
        builder.Append(chars[_random.Next(chars.Length)]);

    return builder.ToString();
}
2017/05/23

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1122483
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