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Re: /dev/random for FreeBSD [was: Re: /dev/random for Linux]

In article <[email protected]>, "Theodore Ts'o" <[email protected]> writes:

>    Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 21:59:14 -0500
>    From: "Josh M. Osborne" <[email protected]>

>    When /dev/random doesn't have "enough" enthropy left does reading
>    from it return an error, or block?  I would strongly suggest
>    blocking, as the non-blocking behavur is not really all that useful.

> It acts like many character devices and named pipes in that if there is
> no entropy available at all, it blocks.  If there is some entropy
> available, but not enough, it returns what is available.  (A subsequent
> read will then block, since no entropy will then be available.)

> Actually, what's currently in Linux doesn't work precisely like this,
> but it will soon.  After talking a number of people on both sides of the
> block vs. non-blocking camp, this seemed to be a suitable compromise.
> At least one Major Workstation Vendor is planning on using this behavior
> for their /dev/random, to appear in a future OS release.  If we all can
> standardize on this behavior, it'll make application writer's jobs that
> much easier.

One problem with this scheme is that if multiple processes have
/dev/random open you can block unexpectedly.  If I try to avoid blocking
by first checking if entropy is available there's a race condition if
another process reads from the device.  Is there another way to avoid

Sure we spend a lot of money, but that doesn't mean | Tom Weinstein
we *do* anything.  --  Washington DC motto          | [email protected]