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The design and fabrication of laser resonators is often difficult. However, random lasers occur in gain media with numerous scatterers and produce coherent laser emission without any predesigned cavity. The generation of coherent emission from multiple scattering is quite general and its basic principles are shown here using two model systems, namely π-conjugated polymer films and rhodamine-TiO2 suspensions. Above a threshold excitation intensity, both systems show narrow emission lines (<0.5 nm), coherence that is determined by photon statistics, and a fundamental cavity length in the disordered material that is revealed by averaging multiple power Fourier transform spectra.