Bodo Moeller Bodo_Moeller at public.uni-hamburg.de
Tue Jan 12 21:46:00 CET 1999

Werner Koch <wk at isil.d.shuttle.de>:

> xwd -root yields more than one meg of data but I have some doubts that
> there is much random in it.

It depends, obviously.  There's plenty of space on the screen to
display random stuff (a 80*25 xterm window with .5 bits of entropy per
character is enough for our purposes, and thus other software can
easily be used to gather randomness) -- of course you cannot expect
good output if you simply start up X and do "xwd -root" for your
default screen.

>> In the long run, probably there should be some provisions for random
>> seeding in the option/configuration file parser [...]

> Or tell Sun to implement Tytso's /dev/random which has a BSD style
> license.  I'd prefer such a sulution.

Surely that would be better, but we have to expect /dev/random-less
machines to stick around for quite some time.  The existence of
/dev/random is nothing software should rely on; there are many OSs,
and not everyone will be willing (or able) to switch to newer versions
or other OSs to have /dev/random.

Bodo M"oller
<bmoeller at acm.org>

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