Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. Besides several crypt(3) password hash types most commonly found on various Unix systems, supported out of the box are Windows LM hashes, plus lots of other hashes and ciphers in the community-enhanced version.

John the Ripper is free and Open Source software, distributed primarily in source code form. If you would rather use a commercial product tailored for your specific operating system, please consider John the Ripper Pro, which is distributed primarily in the form of "native" packages for the target operating systems and in general is meant to be easier to install and use while delivering optimal performance.

What's New:

We've just released John the Ripper 1.9.0-jumbo-1, available from the usual place, here.

Only the source code tarball (and indeed repository link) is published right now. I expect to add some binary builds later (perhaps Win64).

It's been 4.5 years and 6000+ jumbo tree commits (not counting JtR core tree commits, nor merge commits) since we released 1.8.0-jumbo-1:

During this time, we recommended most users to use bleeding-jumbo, our development tree, which worked reasonably well - yet we also see value
in making occasional releases. So here goes.

Top contributors who made 10+ commits each since 1.8.0-jumbo-1:

  • magnum (2623)
  • JimF (1545)
  • Dhiru Kholia (532)
  • Claudio Andre (318)
  • Sayantan Datta (266)
  • Frank Dittrich (248)
  • Zhang Lei (108)
  • Kai Zhao (84)
  • Solar (75)
  • Apingis (58)
  • Fist0urs (30)
  • Elena Ago (15)
  • Aleksey Cherepanov (10)

About 70 others have also directly contributed (with 1 to 6 commits each), see doc/CREDITS-jumbo and doc/CHANGES-jumbo (auto-generated from git). Many others have contributed indirectly (not through git).

Indeed, the number of commits doesn't accurately reflect the value of contributions, but the overall picture is clear. In fact, we have the exact same top 6 contributors (by commit count) that we did for the 1.7.9-jumbo-8 to 1.8.0-jumbo-1 period years ago. That's some stability in our developer community. And we also have many new and occasional contributors. That's quite some community life around the project.

Unlike for 1.8.0-jumbo-1, which we just released as-is without a detailed list of changes (unfortunately!), this time we went for the trouble to compile a fairly detailed list - albeit not going for per-format change detail, with few exceptions, as that would have taken forever to write (and for you to read!) This took us (mostly magnum and me, with substantial help from Claudio) a few days to compile, so we hope some of you find this useful. Included below is 1.9.0-jumbo-1/doc/NEWS, verbatim.

Major changes from 1.8.0-jumbo-1 (December 2014) to 1.9.0-jumbo-1 (May 2019):

  • Updated to 1.9.0 core, which brought the following relevant major changes:
  • Optimizations for faster handling of large password hash files (such as with tens or hundreds million hashes), including loading, cracking, and "--show". These include avoidance of unnecessary parsing (some of which creeped into the loader in prior jumbo versions), use of larger hash tables, optional use of SSE prefetch instructions on groups of many hash table lookups instead of doing the lookups one by one, and data layout changes to improve locality of reference. [Solar; 2015-2017]
  • Benchmark using all-different candidate passwords of length 7 by default (except for a few formats where the length is different - e.g., WPA's is 8 as that's the shortest valid), which resembles actual cracking and hashcat benchmarks closer. [Solar, magnum; 2019]
  • Bitslice DES implementation supporting more SIMD instruction sets than before (in addition to our prior support of MMX through AVX and XOP on x86(-64), NEON on 32-bit ARM, and AltiVec on POWER):
  • On x86(-64): AVX2, AVX-512 (including for second generation Xeon Phi), and MIC (for first generation Xeon Phi).
  • On Aarch64: Advanced SIMD (ASIMD). [Solar, magnum; 2015-2019]
  • Bitslice DES S-box expressions using AVX-512's "ternary logic" (actually, 3-input LUT) instructions (the _mm512_ternarylogic_epi32() intrinsic). [DeepLearningJohnDoe, Roman Rusakov, Solar; 2015, 2019] (In jumbo, we now also use those expressions in OpenCL on NVIDIA Maxwell and above - in fact, that was their initial target, for which they were implemented in both JtR jumbo and hashcat earlier than the reuse of these expressions on AVX-512.)