Not enough random bytes available. Please do some other wor

Kurt Fitzner
Mon Jul 2 07:07:01 2001

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Are you physically at the FreeBSD computer (you asked before what if you're
not at the console)?

The way GnuPG works, like pgp, is it access a /dev/random device on your
computer.  That is a device which collects information on things your computer
is doing that would be hard for an outside person to guess, and keeps it in a
'pool' of random numbers.

If you are not using the computer directly (logged on remotely), then it may
not generate enough random information if no one else is doing anything on the

My understanding of the /dev/random device in FreeBSD (someone correct me if
I'm wrong) is that it only uses interrupt timing. The machine may not be
configured to use its ethernet card interrupt, so if you are logged in
remotely, the machine may be doing almost nothing.  It most certainly won't be
using the timer interrupts, so if nothing interesting is happening on the
computer, it could potentially take a very long time to generate the data.

If you are directly using the FreeBSD computer, and the computer is doing
things that is making the hard drive go, then there is a problem with your
/dev/random device.  My understanding is that you can configure what
interrupts that device listens to by configuring the kernel, or by using
'rndcontrol'.  If may be that it is misconfigured, so that it isn't getting
enough random sources.

What I would do is stop the keygen, type:
cat /dev/random
and watch what happens.  You should get some garbage on the screen that stops
after a second.  Then, you should get a new character every few seconds.  If
the hard drive is working, then the number of new characters that appear will
be higher.

If you don't see this, then there is a problem with your /dev/random device.
If you do see this, then there may be an issue with gpg on your computer.


Content-Type: application/pgp-signature

Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux)


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