You can use the makepasswd
program (you will probably need to install it) to create an encrypted password from a plaintext one.
You should never use a plaintext password on the command line as an argument to a command since this can be easily seen by any user on the system who runs ps
at the right moment. You might be the only user on the system, but if you get into the habit you will probably continue it when you should not, so don't.
The plaintext password should be read from the keyboard (so you might as well use the passwd program), or - if you must automate the process - from the file with the permissions set so only the root user can read it.
See this thread for an example of how to use makepasswd: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...8/#post2969056