For example, I made myself a few new keys using OpenSSH 5.1p1:
The key fingerprint is: cb:30:9d:10:b1:69:db:bd:b1:79:40:c6:7f:fb:22:d4 krisp@tetradon The key's randomart image is: +--[RSA1 2048]----+ | o. | | + . | | = + | | . = = . | | + S + ... | | + . *..E. | | o +.. . | | .. .. | | . ..| +-----------------+
Generating public/private dsa key pair. The key fingerprint is: b6:dd:b7:1f:bc:25:31:d3:12:f4:92:1c:0b:93:5f:4b krisp@tetradon The key's randomart image is: +--[ DSA 1024]----+ | o.o | | .= E.| | .B.o| | .= | | S = .| | . o . .= | | . . . oo.| | . o+| | .o.| +-----------------+ Generating public/private rsa key pair. The key fingerprint is: 05:1e:1e:c1:ac:b9:d1:1c:6a:60:ce:0f:77:6c:78:47 krisp@tetradon The key's randomart image is: +--[ RSA 2048]----+ | o=. | | o o++E | | + . Ooo. | | + O B.. | | = *S. | | o | | | | | | | +-----------------+
Loads of fun. The only trick is because this is an arbitrary mapping of keys to random arts, if I suddenly switch to SSH package X, I may be seeing different arts. For SSH this may not be a big deal, but I'd really like to see this technique get adopted by other software like GPG, OpenSSL, and Firefox/Opera for SSL certificate verification, and hopefully they'd all use some standardized algorithm. Personally I think the one described in that paper would be fine for situations where we can display pixel art, and for text situations this OpenSSH wormy-thing seems ok (personaly, I'd add an option to also display ANSI colors, but that's just me). Mmm temptation to write Firefox extensions rising....!
I just noticed the date on that paper. Wth isn't this already in Firefox??