Entropy hint (was: hwrandom)

Erik Postma epostma at nl.tue.win
Mon Apr 26 04:09:37 PDT 2004


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> > Hi,
> >
> > I was reading a basic introduction to /dev/hwrandom usage (at
> > http://linuxcertified.com/hw_random.html) and started playing with it.
> > I was a bit surprised that my current system (i815 chipset) actually
> > supports it: about 3KB/s of good bits(*), as far as I can tell. Should
> > this be added to the entropy hint, or are there too few systems
> > supporting it?
> 
> Thank you. I agree it should be in the entropy hint. I'll try to add it
> this weekend.
> 

Actually, reading on a bit, the LavaRnd project seems very suitable for
headless diskless ...-less boxes with real crypto requirements. It is
really similar to the video entropy daemon which is in the entropy hint
now, but with a couple of differences which make it better for our
situation: it assumes that the image source is not used for anything else,
making it possible to tune it so as to generate as much entropy as
possible (i.e. putting it inside a blackened can and turning gain to
maximum). It is also a 'real' daemon as opposed to a program that is
supposed to be run once a minute from cron. Does still require a cheap web
cam, of course. See also http://www.lavarnd.org/.

Yield is between 70 and 200 kbit/s. These are pure entropy bits, no
pseudo-RNG involved.

(Note: this is not to be confused with the lavarand project by SGI which
uses lava lamps, although it does share a lead developer with that
project.)

- -- 
Erik Postma
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