[cryptography] urandom vs random
James A. Donald
jamesd at echeque.com
Fri Aug 16 22:01:27 EDT 2013
At startup, likely to be short of entropy.
Actual behavior, and even existence, of /dev/random and /dev/urandom
varies substantially from one implementation to another.
If /dev/random blocks when short of entropy, then likely to block at
startup, which is good. Services that need entropy do not need to start
immediately. If they take a while to come up, no big deal.
If /dev/urandom seeded at startup, and then seeded no further, bad, but
not very bad.
If /dev/urandom seeded at startup from /dev/random, then should block at
If /dev/urandom never blocks, bad. Should block at startup waiting to
receive 160 bits from /dev/random, and never block again.
Ron Peterson reports /dev/random not very random
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