/dev/random and entropy pool

Michael_E_Brown@Dell.com Michael_E_Brown at Dell.com
Mon Apr 1 08:44:01 CST 2002

This depends on if you are having slowdowns related to not having entropy.
Do processes using random numbers use /dev/random or /dev/urandom? If they
use the former, do they ever block for long periods of time? If you don't
see any of this behaviour, then there is probably little reason to change.
There are several userspace daemons available that can take sources of
randomness and add them to the pool. Dell sells the Broadcom 5820 SSL
accelerator, and it has a hardware random-number generator that you can
enable if you need it. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Stoltz [mailto:jstoltz at oz.net]
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 12:39 AM
To: Linux-PowerEdge at exchange.dell.com
Subject: /dev/random and entropy pool

We are using some Dell 1550's as application and web servers. The
application is using encryption similar to an SSL web server. These servers
are headless with very little disk activity. Is it necessary to use Intel's
i8x0 Random Number Generator or other kernel modules to add more devices to
add to the entropy pool?

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