Get the Terminal to Show Asterisks When Typing Password

If you have used the terminal in Linux (or Mac), you will know that it does not show anything when you type a password. The lack of a feedback system means that you won’t know if you have typed a password, or have entered the correct number of characters. Here is how you can make the terminal show asterisks when you type a password.

1. Open a terminal and type:

2. Scroll down the list until you find the line:

3. Append the word “pwfeedback” to the end of the line so it looks like:


Save (ctrl +o) and exit (ctrl +x).

That’s it.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. It’s worth noting that this is likely not the default for security reasons. Someone watching you enter you password can easily see how many characters it is. Not a big deal, but worth nothing.

    1. There is always a reason why it is not activated by default. If you choose to turn it on, you have to be sure of the consequences.

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