[kwlug-disc] Hardware Random Number Generators

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Fri Feb 10 12:17:17 EST 2012

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:23, Paul Nijjar <paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca> wrote:
> It turns out that some motherboards and CPUs have hardware random
> number generators (HRNGs) built-in. In particular, I had a bunch of Compaq
> Pentium III desktops with this functionality. Activating these HRNGs
> made a huge difference.


> My question: have hardware manufacturers removed this functionality?
> From all products? From consumer products? If I wanted to find some
> hardware that had this support what should I be looking for?

If you have a motherboard with TPM functionality (which I believe a P4
predates), rng-tools is able to use it for random number seeding. I
have configured this on my laptop. However, I find it is somewhat
slow, and relying on it for large amounts of random data causes
significant waiting. This may be an issue with rng-tools rather than
the TPM hardware, however.

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>

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