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Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:42:42 -0600
From: Richard Miles <>
Subject: Re: How does incremental mode works?

Hi Frank and Simon,

I just want to thank you for all answers and clarifications - very


On Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM, Frank Dittrich <
> wrote:

> On 11/19/2012 04:39 PM, Richard Miles wrote:
> > Sorry, I was not clear on my previous e-mail. You are correct, it's
> > possible to specify the pass at john.conf - however, I would like to pass
> > this parameter via command-line.
> >
> > At documentation and even at config file is described that no
> command-line
> > is available, but I'm just curious why not? I mean, I don't believe there
> > is a technical limitation. Is there a chance to add it to the TODO list?
> > Magnum does a great job and constantly improve jTr command-line options,
> > can you consider it please? :)
> Actually, I don't think this is a good idea.
> Given how hard it is to produce a good stats file, you shouldn't use an
> endless number of different stats files anyway.
> Incremental mode is similar.
> You can't specify the .chr file, minimum and maximum length, number of
> different characters on the command line.
> Instead, you can just specify which incremental mode to use (using
> --incremental=MODE, if the default isn't what you want), and the details
> are defined in a config file section.
> When Simon initially implemented Markov mode, there was no way to use
> different stats files for several john sessions running in parallel,
> unless you used separate directories.
> When --config= has been added, you could at least use different stats
> files when using different config files for your john sessions.
> So when I changed Markov mode, I intended to enhance the functionality
> (easier way to use different stats file, optionally specifying a
> percentage  instead of absolute numbers for START and END) and to make
> using it more similar to using incremental mode, so that you could just
> use --markov=MODE.
> I kept the "legacy" way to specify different Markov mode parameters
> directly on the command line just to maintain backwards compatibility
> for users who want to restore Markov mode sessions that have been
> started in older john versions, or for advanced users who use genmkvpwd
> in a script which calculates the Markov mode level and the START and END
> values to create john sessions.
> Because it wasn't that difficult to implement, I even supported
> combining the name of a Markov mode and specific Markov mode parameters
> on the command line. Since all the Markov command line parameters were
> optional, I couldn't allow Markov mode names which were also valid
> Markov levels.
> Trying to allow a stats file being specified on the command line would
> have made matters even more complicated.
> Frank

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