Why not use rtc or clk for randomness?

John Goodleaf goodleaf@goodleaf.net
Tue, 22 Aug 2000 18:01:39 -0700 (PDT)

Forgive me if this is a stupid question.

One of the most-asked questions is ends up being about how to get the
kernel to generate more entropy for key generation (from a remote
terminal). I asked it myself and have seen it since a few times.

I got my answer, which was to configure /dev/random using rndcontrol -s
-[irq], first finding a good irq by looking at vmstat -i. I was
specifically cautioned against using the irqs associated with clk and
rtc. Why is that? They have such wonderfully high rates. I'm sure using
them would speed up key generation. Are they poor sources of true
randomness, or what?

John G.

John Goodleaf

PGP key: finger John@clyde.goodleaf.net

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