The /dev/random problem

Problem Edit

In colinux sometimes you may find some cryptographic applications freezing. This is due to the lack of randomness available to /dev/random.

Affects Edit

Colinux 0.6.1.
This list is incomplete

Affects user applications Edit

  • Subversion (it waits for /dev/random input on svn commit operations)
  • GnuPG (generating keys requires a lot of random data)

Solution Edit

Not yet fixed? (2005/10/27)

Workarounds Edit

Workaround 1:

  • Open up the fltk console and type random characters into it. You need to do this manual operation every time randomness is needed.

Workaround 2:

  • Change the /dev/random to some pseudo-random source that automatically fills, such as /dev/urandom. For example:
# /dev/random is  "c 1 8"
# /dev/urandom is "c 1 9"
rm /dev/random
mknod /dev/random c 1 9
# do your cryptographic thing

This workaround is not recommended for services that need "strong" randomness implemented by normal Linux /dev/random.

Acknowledgements Edit

lsg, MarkSide, FoboldFKY for the original text.


none yet.

MassTranslated on Sun Apr 23 17:36:01 UTC 2006