ï¿½ 2016 The Author(s). Background: The bacterial CRISPR system is fast becoming the most popular genetic and epigenetic engineering tool due to its universal applicability and adaptability. The desire to deploy CRISPR-based methods in a large variety of species and contexts has created an urgent need for the development of easy, time- and cost-effective methods enabling large-scale screening approaches. Results: Here we describe CORALINA (comprehensive gRNA library generation through controlled nuclease activity), a method for the generation of comprehensive gRNA libraries for CRISPR-based screens. CORALINA gRNA libraries can be derived from any source of DNA without the need of complex oligonucleotide synthesis. We show the utility of CORALINA for human and mouse genomic DNA, its reproducibility in covering the most relevant genomic features including regulatory, coding and non-coding sequences and confirm the functionality of CORALINA generated gRNAs. Conclusions: The simplicity and cost-effectiveness make CORALINA suitable for any experimental system. The unprecedented sequence complexities obtainable with CORALINA libraries are a necessary pre-requisite for less biased large scale genomic and epigenomic screens.